Repositioning Cruises

Learn more about our repositioning and long cruises.

A repositioning cruise is a great way to enjoy everything a cruise ship has to offer and do it at an amazing price.

Whether you want to relax or make the most of the constant fun, a repositioning cruise is the perfect choice.

Sail from one home port to another, one continent to another, and watch the world go by. Enjoy world-class itineraries, stop at places you’ve never been before, and have a lot of fun doing it. On a Carnival cruise, you'll also:

  • Have 45+ activities to choose from.
  • Experience world-class cuisine and entertainment.
  • Embrace leisurely stops at paradise destinations.
  • Enjoy endless opportunities to love living in every moment.

Funtastic Repositioning Cruises with Carnival Cruise Line

Ready for across-the-world cruise travel while enjoying the comfort of your oceanside pod in the adults-only Serenity Retreat?

Or as many dips in the pool as you want?

Experience the amazing entertainment and dining on board our cruise ship from the moment of embarkation to the minute of disembarkation. Enjoy your sea days and departure ports in style.

BOOK YOU REPOSITIONING CRUISE TODAY

Commonly Asked Questions

What is a repositioning cruise.

A repositioning cruise gives holiday makers a chance to have an experience of a lifetime. They’re a one-way cruise where we move our ships from cruise destinations on one continent to another for the holiday season. Come along for the fun and enjoy:

  • Exotic ports of call
  • More days at sea
  • Great deals
  • Extra time to relax
  • Lots of fun activities

Are repositioning cruises cheaper?

There are always great repositioning cruise deals, whether you’re after a transpacific cruise, transatlantic cruise, or something else entirely. A repositioning cruise can be cheaper than our regular cruise deals, and we have deals everyone will enjoy. Just remember to organise the airfare home!

Do repositioning cruises have entertainment?

Of course they do. We are Carnival after all. In fact, a repositioning cruise may have even more world-class entertainment options for the whole family to love!

  • Enjoy the activities and entertainment for all ages.
  • Create amazing memories for your kids .
  • Relax away from it all, and do it in style.
  • Whether you love fine dining, family feasts, special treats or exotic fare, a repositioning cruise caters for it all.

How long is a repositioning cruise?

A repositioning cruise from one continent to another can take up to a month, with amazing stops along the way. Tap on the red button to find the best repositioning cruise for you.

What time of year do cruise ships reposition?

A repositioning cruise will go from one cruise season to another. Search our deals or contact our personal holiday planners for details.

WHAT ARE THE BEST REPOSITIONING CRUISES?

Carnival has repositioning cruises from Australia, Asia, and America ready for booking now. Check out:

  • Brisbane to Seattle via Honolulu, Hawaii and the South Pacific
  • Singapore to Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles to Tokyo
  • Brisbane to Seattle via Alaska
  • Seattle to Brisbane via Japan

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

Repositioning

Rock-bottom prices, varied itineraries and a large number of relaxing days at sea are all unique characteristics of a Repositioning cruise. Usually offered in the fall and spring months, this interesting cruise option allows you to journey to uncommon and even exotic ports of call as a cruise ship relocates to a new region.

Whether you're a seasoned traveler looking to visit new ports of call or a cruise novice interested in an unbelievable deal, a Repositioning cruise will give you a unique opportunity to embark on an out-of-the-ordinary journey to see multiple destinations and sometimes different continents of the world. The most common itineraries feature sailings from Alaska to Hawaii or Transatlantic voyages from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean in the fall, or the reverse in the spring, although there is an endless combination of itineraries periodically offered throughout the year as ships move from region to region around the globe. Spend days relaxing onboard resort-style ships as you cruise to or from seasonal cruise regions like Bermuda, Alaska, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Panama Canal, Hawaii and Asia, stopping to explore ports of call along the way.

  • Repositioning cruises primarily operate during the spring and fall months when ships are relocating to and from major cruise regions, although these cruises are offered periodically throughout the year.
  • Repositioning cruises vary greatly in length. Most are longer than a week, lasting at least 10 nights.
  • Repositioning cruises leave from major departure ports all over the world, among them are Miami, London, Rome, Buenos Aires and Anchorage. You will have to arrange one-way air to the port of embarkation and from the port of disembarkation. If you must fly a very long distance to reach your port of departure, we suggest that you arrive at the port city at least one or two days in advance of your Repositioning cruise. This will give you time to rest and get oriented before boarding the ship. Most cruise lines offer pre-cruise hotel packages.

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

Repositioning cruises 2024 and 2025: Save money with these unusual itineraries

Kristine Hansen

Looking for a cruise where you can truly kick back and take advantage of onboard amenities without getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of a different port of call every day? Consider a repositioning cruise.

Repositioning cruises are the name for one-way sailings that bring the ship to a new home port or a different part of the world to kick-start a new cruise season. Because these sailings often cross oceans, you'll likely experience ports in more than one cruise region — and have ample sea days to take advantage of the spa, dining and entertainment options on board.

All the major cruise lines offer the occasional repositioning cruises, typically on ships that usually sail in destinations with shorter seasons, such as Alaska or the Mediterranean . Here, we answer all your questions about repositioning cruises.

Note: Listed fares were accurate at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

What is a repositioning cruise?

Cruise ships chase warm and sunny climates, so they often move, or "reposition," from one part of the world to another when chilly weather sets in. Cruise lines don't want to sail a ghost ship, one carrying only crew and no passengers, across the ocean because it's wasting an opportunity to earn money. They have figured out that by discounting rates, they can fill the cabins on these oddball itineraries.

Repositioning cruises are never round-trip sailings. Your origin and destination cities — or, in cruise-speak , embarkation and disembarkation ports — will not be the same. You might sail out of Florida and arrive in Barcelona or Southampton, England, allowing you to explore two continents on one vacation. Or, you might simply sail from Boston to Florida or from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia.

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

Repositioning cruises are known for having a greater-than-average number of days spent at sea, but it's not as if you never get off the ship. On a transatlantic sailing , port stops could be in Spain's Canary Islands or Portugal's Azores islands. A repositioning cruise from Southern California to Vancouver before the Alaska cruise season might sail up the Pacific Coast and visit cities like San Francisco and Astoria, Oregon.

Related: How to avoid seasickness on your next cruise

Another aspect that makes a repositioning cruise different from a typical sailing is that many of these itineraries are longer than a week. (This is by design. It takes longer to sail from Florida to Europe than it does to sail to and from the Caribbean .) Still, there is a lot of flexibility, just as with booking any cruise. The shortest you'll find is four or five days (for example, Southern California to Vancouver) and the longest is around 28 nights (yes, almost an entire month, usually between continents).

Are repositioning cruises one-way?

Yes, repositioning cruises are one-way voyages that start in one region and end in another. Because they happen when a cruise ship switches destinations based on seasonality, these sailings often involve travel to a different part of the world, which can result in many consecutive days at sea.

Where and what time of year do cruise ships reposition?

The good news is you can book a repositioning cruise nearly six months out of the year, spanning mid-spring and mid-fall months, which are the cruise lines' shoulder seasons.

Because repositioning cruises are not all tied to the same destination, this only widens your options in terms of geography. To envision where these will sail and when, you need to know a destination's cruise season.

Take Europe as an example. The majority of Mediterranean and Baltic sailings take place in the spring through the early fall. Europe-based ships flee the region during the winter, spending November through March in the warm Caribbean. Therefore, a ship will need to travel from the Caribbean to Europe in spring and return to the Caribbean by fall. Look for transatlantic repositioning cruises during those changeover months.

Related: From Alaska to the Panama Canal: Here are 9 of TPG's favorite fall cruise itineraries

Some ships stay in the Caribbean year-round and only reposition when the cruise line chooses to move them to a different home port. However, ships sailing short seasons in Alaska, South America, Canada/New England and Europe will always be repositioned at least twice a year.

Due to increased cruise itineraries in the Middle East and Asia over the last decade, you might also find a repositioning cruise departing or returning to either of those regions. For example, MSC Cruises offers cruises from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Genoa, Italy, in April prior to sailing European itineraries in the spring and summer. Just be prepared to be away from home for a long time. The aforementioned sailing lasts about three weeks — a long trek through the Suez Canal, connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, by way of Egypt.

Note: Many cruise lines have canceled or altered their 2024 Middle East itineraries due to unrest in the region.

What happens on a repositioning cruise?

On many repositioning cruises, you will not get off the ship as often as you might on a typical sailing because there are no ports in the middle of the ocean you're crossing. These itineraries often feature a string of sea days, so be prepared to spend more time and money on board.

Some people love port-intensive cruises so they can quickly check off a list of countries and only unpack once. But if you prefer leisurely, lazy days, then a transoceanic repositioning cruise might be your ticket to utopia. This huge stretch of time is a great opportunity to crack open books you've been meaning to read, launch into a knitting project or finally have time for daily workouts.

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

Related: 16 mistakes cruisers make on cruise ship sea days

Programming — such as comedy nights, fitness classes, boutique shopping, art auctions, wine tastings and evening shows — are as much a part of a repositioning cruise as any other sailing, only you might be able to take in a whole lot more than you normally would. Some cruise lines organize themed sailings or invite guest lecturers on board for extra sea day activities.

You also might want to consider springing for a cruise line's all-inclusive beverage package on a repositioning cruise. You'll get better value than usual from the price because you'll be ordering most of your drinks on board due to fewer port stops.

Another worthwhile splurge is a balcony cabin . You'll have easy access to fresh air without the top-deck crowds and can enjoy the romance of gazing out at the seemingly endless ocean. Just be sure to pack a sweater or sweatshirt because shoulder seasons in these climates are not necessarily sunbathing weather.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a repositioning cruise?

When you book a repositioning cruise, you'll likely be on board for at least two weeks, allowing enough time for the ship to sail between where it's currently based and its new home port. Sometimes the voyage can be even longer, and it's likely you won't have more than five or six port stops during that time.

That means lots of days on board, many of them consecutive. It's an advantage for anyone who enjoys relaxing at sea and doesn't mind exploring the ship for days at a time without touching land; it's a disadvantage for anyone who sees cruises as merely transportation to explore new places.

An advantage of repositionings is the price, which is often cheaper than what you'd pay for a round-trip sailing of the same length or which has more port days built into the schedule. However, the cost of the potentially expensive one-way or open-jaw flights needed before and after a repositioning cruise could eat up most of the money you'd save by booking that type of voyage.

Do you need a passport for a repositioning cruise?

Yes. The only time you don't need a passport to cruise is if you're booked on a closed-loop sailing — a voyage that departs from and returns to the same port within the U.S. Since repositioning cruises don't leave from and return to the same port, the exception won't apply, and you'll need a passport in order to board the ship.

Are repositioning cruises cheaper than other cruises?

It depends on the sailings to which you're comparing them, but repositioning cruises are often relatively affordable. Even though repositioning sailings can often be two to three weeks in length, you might find that they're less expensive than a regular weeklong voyage that begins and ends in the same port of call. That's because repositioning cruises offer mostly sea days, during which you'll be enjoying the ship instead of lounging on the beach or exploring museums.

How to score repositioning cruise deals

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

More often than not, a repositioning cruise is a good deal because it costs much less per night than a typical sailing. This is because the one-way, sea day-heavy itineraries are less desirable to the majority of cruisers, and they take place during slower travel seasons.

Related: 6 ways to get a deal on a cruise

Travelers who live near the embarkation or debarkation ports can save even more by only having to buy a one-way plane ticket rather than a full round trip.

Repositioning cruises can be tricky to find on booking sites. They often are referred to as repositioning cruises or transatlantic or transpacific cruises. When ships reposition between ports in the U.S. and Canada, the one-off one-way itineraries might not be labeled anything special beyond Caribbean or Pacific Coast cruises.

Not all of the cruise line or online travel agency booking pages have an option to check a box and search for repositioning cruises. If you can't find what you're looking for, do an online search for the term and the cruise line you wish to sail. Even better, call a travel agent or the cruise line's booking staff directly, and they can help you find the repositioning cruise that's best for you.

What are the best 2024 repositioning cruises?

14-night transatlantic on carnival glory.

This two-week repositioning voyage on Carnival Cruise Line 's Carnival Glory departs Barcelona on April 18 and offers just four port calls. The sailing will visit Valencia, Malaga and Las Palmas in Spain, as well as Bermuda, before reaching Port Canaveral, near Orlando, which is the ship's seasonal home base in Florida.

Prices start from $649 per person for an inside cabin.

15-night transatlantic on Rotterdam

On Oct. 12, Holland America 's newest ship, Rotterdam , sets sail on a transatlantic repositioning from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Florida's Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Those ports bookend calls on Bruges, Belgium; Le Havre and Brest, France; England's Isle of Portland; Bermuda; and Half Moon Cay, the line's private island in the Bahamas.

Prices begin at $2,074 per person for an inside cabin.

14-night transatlantic on Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Escape will relocate from the Mediterranean to Miami on Nov. 26, offering a repositioning cruise that begins in Barcelona. It calls on Cartagena and Malaga, Spain; Madeira, Portugal; Antigua; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and NCL's private island , Great Stirrup Cay, in the Bahamas along the way.

Fares start at $829 per person for an inside cabin.

16-night Panama Canal transit on Seven Seas Grandeur

For a repositioning sailing that transits one of the world's most impressive modern engineering marvels and offers lots of port stops, check out Regent Seven Seas ' 16-night Panama Canal crossing on Seven Seas Grandeur . Departing from Miami on Dec. 13, passengers can check out Grand Cayman before enjoying calls on Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Antigua; and Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico, before reaching Los Angeles.

Prices for this voyage on Seven Seas Grandeur, which is an all-inclusive, all-suite vessel, start at $10,499 per person.

What are the best 2025 repositioning cruises?

15-night transatlantic on wind spirit.

Windstar Cruises ' Wind Spirit, a masted sailing ship, is repositioning from Barbados to Lisbon, Portugal, on Feb. 22, 2025. However, you'll only want to book this voyage if you're interested in sailing vessels or you're not easily bored. The ship is small, and there are no port calls on the schedule.

Prices start from $2,399 per person for a room with a window.

23-night Panama Canal on Coral Princess

For a lengthy voyage that will allow you to sail from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal to Mexico and then up the California coast before arriving in Canada, check out Princess Cruises ' Coral Princess. Beginning April 10, 2025, the ship is featuring a cruise that's longer than three weeks as it repositions to Vancouver for a season of Alaska sailings .

Fares begin at $1,593 per person for an inside cabin. If you're short on time, you can opt instead for a shorter voyage of 16 nights that also begins on April 10 and ends in Los Angeles before the ship moves on to Canada. Fares for the shorter cruise start from $1,048 per person for inside accommodations.

17-night French Polynesia and Hawaii on Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Cruises ' Celebrity Edge will relocate from its base in Sydney on April 14, 2025. Its ultimate destination is Vancouver, where it will be stationed for a series of Alaska voyages. On its way, it will take passengers on a 17-night trip to experience the beauty of French Polynesia before concluding the sailing in Honolulu. Port calls include Paihia and Auckland in New Zealand and Raiatea, Papeete and Moorea in French Polynesia.

Rates start at $1,574 per person for an inside cabin.

14-night transatlantic on Odyssey of the Seas

On April 27, 2025, Royal Caribbean 's Odyssey of the Seas is repositioning from Bayonne's Cape Liberty port in New Jersey to Rome. There are only five port stops — Ponta Delgada, Portugal; Malaga, Cartagena and Valencia, Spain; and La Spezia, the port for Cinque Terre in Italy — mixed in among the sea days. However, this Quantum Class vessel has plenty to keep cruisers busy on board. Amenities include surfing and skydiving simulators, bumper cars and a robotic arm that holds a glass-enclosed observation sphere for excellent ocean views.

Fares begin at $829 per person for an inside cabin.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • Top ways cruisers waste money
  • The ultimate guide to choosing a cruise ship cabin

Roaming Around the World

Travel Guides, Tips, and Tales

Repositioning Cruises: Everything You Need to Know

March 14, 2023 By John Widmer 11 Comments

As we’ve now spent more than a half year (189 days) in total living as passengers aboard twelve different repositioning cruises, we love explaining these unique cruises to other travelers. Yet upon first mentioning the concept of these seasonal one-way voyages, we’re often asked:

What is a Repositioning Cruise?

So we’ve written this detailed article to explain exactly what repositioning cruises are. We’re here to dish out all the comprehensive info and reveal all of our repositioning cruise travel tips from first-hand experience of regularly utilizing these lengthy oceanic voyages to journey around the globe.

We have a true passion for taking repositioning cruises, as they have become our primary means of transportation when traveling from one continent to another. We find it to be a fantastic method of slower travel, all while indulging in affordable luxury and visiting exotic ports along the way.

In fact, we even traveled entirely around the world without flights, by instead using repositioning cruises, and did so on a surprisingly low budget of about $60 per day! After all, repositioning cruises are regularly found at highly discounted rates that can be an ultimate travel bargain. We hope you’ll see throughout this article what a great travel deal repositioning cruises can be. That is… if you know how to find the deals and when to book. We’ll get to all that!

Repositioning cruises can actually be somewhat of a complex concept. But we’re here to break it all down and explain all the info you need to know about repositioning cruises.

Article Title: "Ultimate Guide to Repositioning Cruises: Everything You Need to Know" over a cruise ship heading out to sea

  • 🔍 Understand: How & Why Repositioning Cruises Are Formed
  • 📜 A Brief History of Repositioning Cruises
  • 👍 Benefits of Taking a Repositioning Cruise
  • 🗓️ When Is the Best Time to Take a Repositioning Cruise?
  • 🌍 Where Do Repositioning Cruises Go?
  • 🤔 Common Misconceptions of Repositioning Cruises
  • 💰 How Much Do Repositioning Cruises Cost?
  • ⚠️ Potential Drawbacks to Repositioning Cruises: How to Overcome
  • 💡 Travel Tips for Taking a Repositioning Cruise

What Is a Repositioning Cruise?

A repositioning cruise is a one-way voyage that a cruise ship takes when it moves from one region to another for seasonality changes or other logistical reasons.

Rather than move an empty cruise ship from one location to another, the cruise lines create a repositioning cruise by offering passengers a chance to join these unique voyages.

As the cruise line transfers a ship to the next region, they are repositioning the cruise  ship from one area to another. Hence the etymology of repositioning cruise . Repositioning cruises are also known as “repo cruises” and are occasionally referred to as “relocation cruises.” It’s all the same thing.

Repositioning cruises are typically offered at a discounted rate and can be an affordable way to travel between different regions or continents. The routes of repositioning cruises are almost never direct cruises. Instead, there are typically interesting ports scheduled along the way, in an effort to make them more enticing to prospective passengers. These one-way repositioning cruises tend to be long (2+ weeks) in order to have time to cross an ocean or change hemispheres.

There are inevitably a number of consecutive sea days during repositioning cruises, which may not give such cruises as broad of an appeal as a packed Caribbean cruise that stops at a different island each day. Although we love repositioning cruises, they’re certainly not for everyone. Therefore, with a lack of demand, prices for repositioning cruises tend to drop to very attractive rates.

Cruise lines always attempt to fill their ships to capacity. So when repositioning cruises aren’t selling, prices often become slashed to attract passengers who may further spend on drinks, in the casino, and in the shops onboard.

view of the deck from repositioning cruise during a day at sea

Understand: How & Why Repositioning Cruises Are Formed

Repositioning cruises are formed when one of the following situations requires a cruise ship to move a significant distance:

  • Seasonal changes (most common)
  • Transfer of new ships
  • Move ships to/from dry dock refurbishments

Relocating Cruises to Seasonal Vacation Destinations

Seasonal shifts are the most common cause for repositioning cruises, creating an abundance of repositioning cruise routes in the midst of every spring and fall, in advance of summer and winter cruise seasons.

For example, during winter months, Caribbean cruises are very popular. So cruise lines logically have a number of their ships serving Caribbean itineraries during the winter months, when it is too cold to cruise in locations such as Alaska and Northern Europe.

But in Spring, as the summer months approach, cruise lines want to move their ships to locations such as Alaska and Europe, both very popular summer cruise destinations. Relocating the ships between these regions can be a costly and time-consuming process. That’s where repositioning cruises come in. Passengers are able to enjoy the unique lengthy voyages that are created out of the need to move the ships.

After the summer cruise seasons subside, the cruise lines want to relocate their ships back to their winter locations. So another seasonal shift occurs.

For example, during fall, we’ve regularly used the route from European locations to Florida across the Atlantic. Yet as cruise lines don’t want to leave their ships in Alaska over the winter, we’ve also utilized repositioning cruise voyages from Alaska to warmer locations in Asia, where the ships will remain over winter.

Those are just a few examples, but we’ll review all the common seasonal repositioning cruise routes later in this article.

Repositioning cruise ship departing Alaska with glacier-capped mountains in the background

Logistical Reasons Can Also Create Repositioning Cruises

Logistical situations are another reason that sometimes creates repositioning cruises. One instance of this is when new ships are launched from a shipyard, they need to be moved to what will eventually become their home port.

A ship’s inaugural voyage is often a repositioning cruise! When a brand new ship is repositioned like this, it doesn’t necessarily follow the seasonal shifts that other repositioning cruises do. It’s more about the timing of the shipbuilding and the location the ship will be serving.

For example, we took a repositioning cruise when the Norwegian Bliss was first launched. The ship was built at a German shipyard, where it was launched in April. Yet this new ship needed to make its way all the way to Alaska to begin its summer itineraries. So the Bliss formed a series of repositioning cruises to cover that great distance.

We embarked on the sparkling brand-new ship in Europe and took it on a transatlantic voyage to New York City. During April, seasonal repositioning cruises are usually headed to Europe – not away from Europe. So this was an unusual circumstance that provided us with a great opportunity to be among the first passengers to experience this brand-new 5-star ship.

Collage of 4 Norwegian Bliss photos during its inaugural repositioning cruise:-ship arriving to New York-lido deck-observation lounge-outdoor bar

One final reason that repositioning cruise routes are created is when cruise ships need to be moved for major refurbishments .

When this happens ships typically go into dry dock for extended periods of time, usually about a month. The dry docks where these refurbishments are performed are usually located in Europe or Asia. So ships need to be temporarily relocated to these locations, accordingly.

A Brief History of Repositioning Cruises

The concept of repositioning ships for seasonal demand dates back to the early days of ocean travel. However, the concept of a repositioning cruise as a leisure activity on cruise ships is a more recent development.

Many popular repositioning cruise routes can perhaps be traced back to the golden days of ocean liners . In the late 1800s and early 1900s, ocean liners were the primary means used to travel long distances between continents. Transatlantic crossings were a common route during that period, which remains the most popular repositioning cruise itinerary today.

A repositioning cruise sales across the Atlantic Ocean

Yet to trace the origins of modern repositioning cruises, we need to go back to the 1960s. This is when regular long-distance commercial flights became more commonplace, and demand for ocean travel decreased.

Although ocean liners were losing favor to air travel, this actually helped give rise to the modern cruise industry that pushed forward in the 1970s and beyond. In fact, Carnival Cruise Line’s first ship, Mardi Gras (1972-1993), was actually a former transatlantic oceanliner, Empress of Canada, that had regularly traversed between the continents during the decade before it was reformed into a Carnival leisure cruise.

But as companies like Carnival and Royal Caribbean emerged in the 1970s, they were not using their cruise ships to cross oceans, as is commonly done with repositioning cruises today. Instead, these cruises were composed of closed-circuit itineraries with amenities and activities that appealed to a wide audience, just as most cruises still are today.

It wasn’t until major cruise lines started increasing their fleets and expanding their routes, that the concept of repositioning cruises as a distinct type of cruise experience really took off.

At first, cruise lines would sail their ships with crewmembers only, and no passengers, when repositioning their ships to new locations. But cruise lines began to recognize that they could maximize the use of their ships by offering longer, one-way itineraries between different regions of the world while also maximizing the ship’s profitability. Hence, the birth of repositioning cruises as we know them today!

Over time, the popularity of repositioning cruises has only continued to grow, as more and more passengers have discovered the unique benefits of this type of cruising experience.

Benefits of Taking a Repositioning Cruise

Many curious or doubtful travelers often ask “Why would anyone want to take a repositioning cruise?”

Well, there are many benefits of repositioning cruises!

Benefit: Excellent Value of Repositioning Cruises

Part of the appeal of repositioning cruises is undoubtedly the fantastic bargains they can present. Because repositioning cruises often have highly-discounted rates, they can present an affordable possibility on what are otherwise pricey luxury cruise ships.

We’ve taken lengthy two-week-long repositioning cruises for just a few hundred dollars, on 5-star ships that normally cost thousands of dollars for a regular weeklong sailing! On ships that normally have rates around $400/night, we’ve paid less than $50/night.

Although paying significantly less than normal, the amenities, level of service, and cuisine on the ship remain exactly the same as a regular full-priced sailing. So repositioning cruises can provide a luxury experience that may otherwise be out of reach.

It’s like a floating luxury resort that transports you across the world. Prices are inclusive of dining, entertainment, activities, port calls, and so much more. It all adds up to exceptional value!

Later in this article, we’ll go into further detail about the costs of repositioning cruises and where to find these deals!

an empty pool deck during a repositioning cruise, where a benefit is that it can be easy to avoid crowds

Benefit: An Interesting Alternative to Flying

If needing to travel long distances between continents, repositioning cruises can be a great alternative to air travel. Repositioning cruises are often priced about the same as, sometimes even less than, a coach ticket on a cramped redeye flight between the same locations.

Yet while a flight simply gets you from point A to point B in a slightly reclining seat, a repositioning cruise transports passengers between the same two locations all while sleeping in spacious staterooms, dining on decadent dinners, and stopping into exotic locations.

For anyone who doesn’t like flying, repositioning cruises can be a great consideration to avoid taking a plane when traveling one way. Personally, we’re indifferent to flying in general. But we will always prefer spending a few weeks on a luxury cruise voyage rather than suffering through an overnight flight in a coach seat.

Benefit: Exotic and Desirable Itineraries

Repositioning cruises can be a great opportunity to reach far-flung destinations that aren’t regularly served by cruises . For example, we’ve been fortunate to visit the stunning Azore Islands on repositioning cruises crossing the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, transpacific itineraries often include exotic islands in the South Pacific or rarely-visited ports on Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. While crossing the Indian Ocean, we loved being able to stop into the Maldives, Seychelles, and the overseas French territory of La Réunion. These far-off locations would cost a fortune to visit using a series of flights!

In addition to such rarely-visited destinations, many repositioning cruises also stop at popular cruise ports too . For example, transatlantic repositioning cruises will regularly still include a wide assortment of popular Mediterranean ports, Caribbean ports, or sometimes both! When taking westbound northern transpacific repositioning cruises, the cruise lines have always been generous to form a weeklong Alaskan cruise before crossing the Pacific.

And let’s not forget about the interesting transit opportunities . Repositioning cruises have brought us through the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, Alaska’s Inside Passage, and Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay. These scenic cruising days are events unto themselves!

For travelers like us, it is such a huge benefit of repositioning cruises to be able to experience these many different destinations and their cultures all in one big long voyage!

Collage of four scenic cruising scenes during repositioning cruises:-Suez Canal-Alaska Inside Passage-Ha Long Bay Vietnam-Panama Canal

Benefit: Following Good Weather

For those who are nomadic or on a grand long-term trip, repositioning cruises can be an ideal mode of transportation to follow good weather.

When one part of the world becomes too cold, cruises move to warmer climates. So moving around the world by taking repositioning cruises can always lead you to nice weather on the other side!

Benefit: No Jetlag on Repositioning Cruises!

When traveling on eastbound or westbound itineraries, you’ll inevitably cross several time zones. When crossing several time zones on a flight, jetlag can be horrible. You arrive at your destination exhausted.

But when taking a repositioning cruise across these time zones, the shift in time is nice and gradual. Time zones may change every day or every other day. The gradual shift can be so much easier to deal with, arriving at your destination refreshed and ready to explore!

After several consecutive days of setting back the clocks (or moving the clocks forward), your internal clock may feel a tinge that something’s not quite right. But it’s never severe as transiting across 8 timezones all at once on an overnight flight.

Personally, we always prefer westbound repositioning cruises to eastbound routes. During westbound repositioning cruises (more prevalent in the fall), every day or so you get an extra hour of sleep ! It’s a phenomenal little perk to repositioning cruises! We tend to find ourselves waking up earlier than normal yet feeling well-rested.

We’re typically not early risers. Yet with all the extra hours of sleep on westbound voyages, we’re often awake to catch the many impressive sunrises while crossing the world’s oceans!

Sunrise in the open ocean after waking up early on a repositioning cruise

Benefit: Unique Onboard Experience of Repositioning Cruises

Often repositioning cruises will transit passengers across vast oceans. These grand voyages tend to bring out the romanticism of yesteryear , traveling by sea. There’s something so peaceful and relaxing about being in the middle of the ocean.

But it’s not boring. There’s so much to do on repositioning cruises, besides all the fun ports. Many of these large ships are like mini-cities, full of recreation, bars, theatres, libraries, pools, activity centers, gyms, spas, shops, and more.

We’ve been on repositioning cruises with rock-climbing walls, surfing waves, ice-skating rinks, and bowling allies! In addition to all that, most cruise lines bring on extra entertainment and lecturers to help fill the added time at sea.

Collage of Things to do on a long repositioning cruise:-water slide-go kart track-bowling-entertainment performers on a stage

There’s also more time to connect with crew and other passengers that you’ll see again and again throughout a lengthy repositioning cruise journey. We’ve found that people who take repositioning cruises often have the same mindset as us when it comes to travel, so bonds are easily formed with this mutual interest. We’ve made lifelong friends on repositioning cruises.

Outside the ship, repositioning cruises can present rare opportunities for photography and wildlife viewing out in the middle of the ocean. For example, taking a repositioning cruise across the North Pacific, we spotted almost unimaginable amounts of whales – hundreds of them! Another memorable moment was waking up to see a volcano outside our window while cruising near Russia.

Stromboli volcano from a repositioning cruise

Passengers aboard repositioning cruises also have the opportunity to complete an assortment of unique maritime feats . It’s quite the experience to entirely cross one of the world’s oceans by sea. That’s bragging rights! Most cruises send personalized certificates to passengers’ staterooms to formally document the feat of a full oceanic crossing.

Depending on the route, you may also cross the Equator , hence immediately going from fall to spring or vice versa. Or you can cross the International Dateline , in which you lose or gain an entire day. When crossing these lines, most cruise ships will put on special events to make a big deal about the occasion. Maritime superstitions are strong and there are some fun traditions that occur onboard during these events.

Celebration with balloon drop to mark crossing the International Date Line during a transpacific repositioning cruise

Seasonality of Repositioning Cruises

Most repositioning cruises operate seasonally, with routes that follow the same patterns every year. There are a few months during the year when repositioning cruises are in much greater abundance, whereas at other times of the year repositioning cruises are nonexistent.

It’s important to understand the narrow time windows when seasonal repositioning cruises make their regional moves and where these routes are commonly found.

A Celebrity repositioning cruise departs Alaska in the fall to in a transpacific voyage to warmer weather

When is the Best Time of Year to Take a Repositioning Cruise?

The best time to take a repositioning cruise is when these one-way cruises are actively running. This only occurs a few months each year.

Seasonal repositioning cruises are most active during the change in seasons:

These seasonal repositioning cruises occur in the greatest abundance twice per year , peaking around late March and well into April , and then again peaking again in October and November .

So those are generally the best months to take repositioning cruises. Although there are seasonal repositioning cruises that depart a bit earlier than average (March in the Spring, September in the Fall) and some repositioning cruises that depart later than average (May in the Spring, December in the Fall).

Meanwhile, repositioning cruises are very uncommon January-February and are exceptionally rare from June-August.

Because these seasonal shifts dictate the timing of repositioning cruise voyages, prospective passengers need to time their transits accordingly for spring and fall months. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to just pick any time of year you want to take a repositioning cruise. You must be on repositioning cruises’ schedule.

Where Do Repositioning Cruises Go?

Repositioning cruises generally travel on northbound and westbound itineraries in the spring while reversing course to voyage southbound and eastbound in the fall. The exact routes vary greatly by season.

Common Repositioning Cruises Routes in the Spring

The most common trend for Spring repositioning cruises is for ships to be relocated towards:

  • European ports for Europe’s summer cruise season and
  • the Pacific Northwest (specifically, Vancouver & Seattle) for Alaska’s summer cruise season.

Spring (April-May) repositioning cruises generally voyage Northbound and Westbound, with a few exceptions. To help remember, use this mnemonic device: spring repositioning cruises “spring up, spring forward.”

Spring Repositioning Cruise Route Map

These are typical repositioning cruise routes during the spring months:

  • Northern Transatlantic : Florida (and US East Coast) ➡️ Europe
  • Southern Transatlantic : Argentina & Brazil ➡️ Europe
  • Panama Canal : Florida (and US East Coast) ➡️ US Pacific Coast
  • TransAmerica Panama Canal : Chile ➡️ Florida
  • Southern Transpacific : Sydney & Auckland ➡️ Hawaii, California, & Pacific Northwest
  • TransAmerica Pacific : Chile ➡️ California & Pacific Northwest
  • TransAsia : Asia (usually Singapore) ➡️ Europe
  • MiddleEastern : Middle East (usually UAE) ➡️ Europe
  • TransAfrica : South Africa ➡️ Europe

Common Repositioning Cruise Routes in the Fall

During Autumn , cruises are repositioned away from Europe and Alaska. Most commonly ships are moved to Florida and US East Coast ports to do Caribbean cruises during winter months. But cruises are also repositioned to Asia and locations throughout the southern hemisphere.

Fall (October-November) repositioning cruises generally voyage on Eastbound and Southbound itineraries, with a few exceptions. Mnemonic device: fall repositioning cruises “fall down and fall back.”

Fall Repositioning Cruise Route Map

This is where cruise lines tend to reposition their cruise ships in the Fall:

  • Northern Transatlantic : Europe ➡️ Florida (and US East Coast)
  • Southern Transatlantic : Europe ➡️ Argentina & Brazil
  • Panama Canal : US Pacific Coast ➡️ Florida (and US East Coast)
  • TransAmerica Panama Canal : Florida ➡️ Chile
  • Southern Transpacific : Hawaii, California, & Pacific Northwest ➡️ Sydney & Auckland
  • TransAmerica Pacific : California & Pacific Northwest ➡️ Chile
  • TransAsia : Europe ➡️ Asia (usually Singapore)
  • MiddleEastern : Europe ➡️ Middle East (usually UAE)
  • TransAfrica : Europe ➡️ South Africa
  • Canadian Maritimes : US East Coast ⬅️➡️ Quebec, Canada

Common Misconceptions of Repositioning Cruises

We regularly hear so many misconceptions about repositioning cruises. When people hear about us getting a good deal on a repositioning cruise, we regularly get comments like, “you must be washing the dishes.” I assure you we are not.

Repositioning cruises are NOT stripped-down versions of a cruise. They are full-on cruises, with all the same great complimentary dining options, entertainment, activities, and high standards as their regular itineraries.

We want to debunk these myths and tell you what repositioning cruises are really like.

Relaxing on a lounge chair on the lido deck during a repositioning cruise

Repositioning Cruises Are Full of Days At Sea

Repositioning cruises do usually have more sea days than a regular cruise itinerary. But repositioning cruises also usually make many stops throughout the voyage, for passengers to get off the ship and explore.

We’ve already mentioned how one of the best benefits of repositioning cruises is their exotic itineraries. Yet many people don’t fully realize the full potential of interesting destinations along the way during repositioning cruise itineraries.

Many people envision weeks at sea over expanses of open ocean. Sure, there is a bit of that. But there are also fascinating dots of land along the way that you may have never realized.

Most repositioning cruises make several port calls throughout their voyages, as this will appeal more to potential cruisegoers. Often the ports during repositioning cruises will be exotic remote destinations that aren’t typically reached by cruises.

Transatlantic repositioning cruises often stop in the Azore Islands, the Canary Islands, and Bermuda, in addition to Caribbean and European ports. These mid-Atlantic islands help to minimize what would otherwise be lengthy stretches of sea days. And while you’ve probably heard of Bermuda and the Canary Islands, you may not realize what a beautiful and fascinating place the Azores are!

Meanwhile, transpacific repositioning cruises often create exotic South Pacific itineraries to include an assortment of South Pacific islands, including the likes of Fiji and Hawaii. We’re particularly big fans of the northern transpacific routes, which almost always include an assortment of intriguing Japanese ports, beautiful Alaskan ports, and scenic cruising, like in Glacier Bay – wow!

Other routes can be even more packed with ports, such as Asia repositioning cruises or repositioning cruises to/from South America. On a Panama Canal repositioning cruise we took from Florida to Chile, the ship stopped at amazing Latin American ports nearly every other day as we journeyed down the western coast of South America.

Meanwhile, a two-week repositioning cruise we took from Hong Kong to Singapore only had three sea days during the entire trip! On that voyage, we actually wanted a few more days to relax in between so many busy port days. It all just goes to show that repositioning cruises are not all boring cruises completely filled with sea days every single day.

Cruise lines know that potential customers won’t be attracted to boring repositioning cruise itineraries. So they almost always plan many interesting ports along the way.

langkawi Malaysia at sunrise while pulling into port on a repositioning cruise

There’s Nothing To Do on Repositioning Cruises

Many people falsely believe that since the cruise is being repositioned, there is a lack of entertainment and things to do onboard. It’s actually the opposite.

For example, on one of our last repositioning cruise journeys, we didn’t have any time to watch to even begin the first episode of the series we downloaded on our laptop that we intended to watch during the voyage to Japan. Instead, we were too busy taking advantage of the many fun activities, learning the basics of the Japanese language, going to cooking demonstrations, listening to navigation talks, watching awesome performances, attending parties, and soaking in the many intriguing lectures.

While the thought of attending lectures may sound boring to some, we find the quality of lectures on repositioning cruises makes them very worthwhile. Take Celebrity’s “Beyond the Podium” lecture series for example, which usually brings on 2-3 speakers to give talks on various topics. But since this was a lengthy repositioning cruise, they packed the agenda with 6 different speakers, each with their own expertise.

This included the first British woman to reach the North Pole (Sue Stockdale), a former F1 racecar driver, a Buddhism and meditation expert, a naturalist explaining the aquatic life around us, an expert on Marilyn Monroe, and a neuroscientist showing us how to unlock secrets of the brain. We departed the ship much wiser than we arrived!

After working out our minds, we try to squeeze in a bit of exercise into the day. Although there are always great gyms onboard with ocean views, we favor fresh air and walking around a lower deck while whale watching and putting into practice what we learned at the naturalist lecture.

Then there are all the different deck games and challenges . We’ve gone to putting competitions, bean bag toss, bingo, and even archery at sea. But we just enjoy the pub-style trivia and are part of a trivia team that meets each afternoon. This progressive competition is fun in itself. But it doubles as an opportunity to meet, mingle, and get to know our teammates and new friends.

Come night , there’s always a big production show in the theatre, from Broadway-style shows to musicians to Cirque du Soleil-style performances. We particularly enjoy if there’s a rock concert or a good comedian.

Finally, the late nights on repositioning cruises usually wind down with a live game show and/or a full-on theme party. On our last repositioning cruise, there was a Motown party and a “Latin Sizzle” fiesta, complete with professional dancers in costume.

Meanwhile, there are all features and shipboard amenities that these megaships offer that go way beyond shuffleboard. Instead, there are rock climbing walls, go-kart tracks, surfing waves, ice skating rinks, laser tag, water slides, and more. There’s usually so much to do! Even on repositioning cruises with many sea days, we often find ourselves scrambling on the last few days trying to experience all the things we haven’t done yet.

And during repositioning cruises, there are almost never any lines or waits for these activities that are otherwise packed during the single sea day of a regular cruise itinerary. I once learned to surf on Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider because no one else was ever using it, so I had it all to myself. I also got real good on NCL’s go-karts since they never had a line.

And if that all isn’t enough, there are even more social activities organized by passengers on sites such as CruiseCritic. During one of our first repositioning cruises, we participated in a multi-day Amazing Race-style competition organized by fellow passengers, which turned out to be a highlight of that two-week voyage.

With all that there is to do, we sometimes find it necessary to schedule downtime to relax by the pool or watch a movie. Otherwise, we have a bad habit of packing our schedule during sea days with activities nearly every hour.

Rest assured, you will not go bored on a repositioning cruise. …Unless, of course, you want to, and that’s okay too!

The Seas Are Too Rough in the Open Ocean

While the seas can be rough in the middle of the ocean, this is not always the case. Modern cruise ships are becoming so large and stable that it’s often difficult to even feel like you’re on a boat during a moderate chop. But if the seas do get rough, most ships have what’s known as stabilizers , which greatly lessen any rocking sensation.

The exact route and time of year of each repositioning cruise will impact your chance of rough seas too. If you’re on a transatlantic repositioning cruise at the end of September, this is the height of hurricane season. But that still doesn’t necessarily mean that the open ocean will be rough during that time.

All ships will steer far clear of a storm of such magnitude. Still, hurricanes still have the capacity to churn up the sea hundreds of miles away. So this is something to keep in mind. But the middle of the ocean can also be remarkably calm.

Our ocean crossings have been mostly calm and often surprisingly flat seas in the middle of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. In nearly 200 days aboard repositioning cruises, we’ve experienced only a handful of days with some motion, but it was never bad enough to cause us to become seasick.

Side ship view of flat calm seas in the open ocean during a transatlantic repositioning cruise

How Much Do Repositioning Cruises Cost?

Repositioning cruise deals can vary greatly in cost, based on purchasing trends, the timing of the purchase, the popularity of the ship, and the appeal of the exact itinerary.

That said, it is regularly possible to find luxury repositioning cruises that cost less than a ticket for a coach seat on a cramped redeye flight between the same two points.

Ok, so exactly how much does a repositioning cruise cost?

A decent deal for a two-week oceanic crossing can range from around $400-$800 per person. That breaks down to about $30-$60 per person, per night! Personally, we try to shoot for repositioning cruise prices under $50 per person, per night. Occasionally, we’ll go above that threshold for a great itinerary or if extra perks are included.

That should give you a general idea of how low in price repositioning cruises can be. But understand that they can be much more expensive than that. Factors such as great itineraries and sought-after ships will certainly help to drive up the prices for repositioning cruises. Purchasing trends also affect pricing. It’s not uncommon to see repositioning cruise fares at $1,000 per person and much higher.

Yet supply and demand for each particular voyage can help drop repositioning cruise prices very low. So how low can they go?

The lowest price we’ve ever seen for a long-distance repositioning cruise was  $159 per person for an inside cabin on the Pullmantur Monarch. That came out to only $12.23 per person, per day, as we wined and dined while crossing the Atlantic for two weeks! Yes, for a mere twelve dollars per day! And this voyage even included an unlimited beverage package! It’s hard to believe but it’s true.

A Pina Colada on the Pullmantur Monarch repositioning cruise

We couldn’t afford NOT to go! So how was this super cheap repositoning cruise? While we still enjoyed that extremely inexpensive voyage, it was on a 3-star ship on a European cruise line. Although we appreciated the fun umbrella drinks, comfy confines, and steak dinners, that particular repositioning cruise wasn’t exactly luxury. You can read our full review of our $159 Pullmantur Monarch cruise here .

Often, the cheapest repositioning cruises can be found on older 3-star ships. For example, there are usually a good assortment of MSC ships making the repositioning cruise voyage between Brazil and Italy for rates of $30 per day, or less. We once took a long repositioning cruise on one of MSC’s 3-star ships. While it definitely wasn’t our favorite, we still had an enjoyable cruise. Yet reviews on those sailings can be mixed.

So what does a 5-star repositioning cruise cost?

In the past, we’ve found two-week repositioning cruises on 5-star ships for as low as $300. In 2023, the least expensive repositioning cruise we’ve spotted is $446 for a 13-day late April voyage from Miami to England on the 5.5-star Celebrity Silhouette .

Screen shot of a repositioning cruise deal for a 5-star Celebrity transatlantic, found on CruiseDirect.com

It’s a great ship and this particular sailing has a decent itinerary including Bermuda, Ireland, France, and England. But keep in mind that the least expensive repositioning cruises can sometimes be cheap for a reason, either a poor itinerary or an undesirable ship. There’s a good chance you’ll be spending more than $500 per person, for the repositioning cruise you desire.

That said, every year you can typically find at least several dozen repositioning cruises for under $1,000 and dozens of repositioning cruises priced below $50 per person, per night (based on double occupancy).

To provide you with some recent examples of low-priced repositioning cruises, check out the repositioning cruise deals below for 2023 and 2024.

Do note that prices are always changing, so the deals listed below certainly can change or be gone by the time you read this. The list below is intended simply to provide some idea of how inexpensive 2023 repositioning cruise prices can be. That said, if you see a repositioning cruise deal you like, click the link to see up-to-date availability and pricing through our trusted affiliate partner at CruiseDirect .

Examples of Cheapest Repositioning Cruise Deals 2023 :

  • MSC, 5-star, March 2024, Brazil to Canary Islands, 11 nights – $329 ($30/night)
  • MSC, 3.5-star, April, Brazil to Portugal, 13 nights – $349 ($26/night)
  • Celebrity Silhouette, 5.5-star, April, Miami to UK, 13 nights – $446 ($34/night)
  • Holland America, 5-star, Florida to Spain, 14 nights – $399 ($28/night)
  • MSC, 3.5-star, Nov 2023, Italy to Brazil, 21 nights – $599 ($28/night)
  • MSC, 3.5-star, Oct 2023, Norway to Brazil, 21 nights – $649 ($31/night)
  • Princess, 5-star, March 2023, Florida to England, 14 nights – $569 ($40/night)
  • Norwegian, 4.5-star, April 2023, NYC to Spain, 15 nights – $662 ($44/night)
  • Holland America, 5-star, April 2023, Florida to Italy, 14 nights – $399 ($29/night)
  • MSC Divina, 4-star, April 2024, NYC to Italy, 16 nights – $499 ($31/night)
  • Royal Caribbean, 5-star, April 2023, Australia to Hawaii, 17 nights – $851 ($50/night)
  • Holland America, 5-star, April 2023, Japan to Vancouver, 14 nights – $799 ($57/night)
  • Norwegian, 5-star, April 2023, Miami to LA, 15 nights – $586 ($39/night)
  • Norwegian, 4-star, April 2023, Miami to Seattle, 20 nights – $679 ($xx/night)
  • MSC, 3.5-star, Nov 2023, Italy to Egypt, 11 nights – $299 ($27/night)
  • MSC, 3.5-star, April 2024, South Africa to Italy, 23 nights – $599 ($26/night)

Search CruiseDirect to find many more repositioning cruises that meet your ideal criteria. We’ve booked many cruises with CruiseDirect and found they often have the best deals and promos. Search repositioning cruises on CruiseDirect .

Potential Drawbacks to Repositioning Cruises: How to Overcome

These repositioning cruises sound great. So what’s the catch?

Really there is no big catch. Repositioning cruises are truly fantastic travel bargains. Yet there definitely are some challenges that repositioning cruises present that prospective passengers need to be aware of.

Watching the ocean outside a large port hole on a cruise ship

Consider: The Time of Year of Repositioning Cruises May Not Work

Most repositioning cruises occur in mid-Fall and mid-Spring when the seasons change, as already discussed. If you want to take a repositioning cruise o utside of those narrow windows of time, it’s usually not possible .

For example, let’s say you’re able to take some time off in the month of June and want to take a repositioning cruise in June. Sorry, there usually aren’t any repositioning cruises happening over the summer months.

How to Maximize the Narrow Time Windows of Repositioning Cruises :

  • Try to plan your travels around repositioning cruises, if possible.
  • Travel in the Spring and Fall.

In doing so, you not only take advantage of a great repositioning cruise deal, but you’ll arrive in a destination that is in shoulder season. This is the period between the high season and the low season. During this time weather tends to be nice yet the overcrowding and higher accommodation rates haven’t yet gone into effect.

Consider: The Need for a Return Ticket

Most people will still need a flight to return back home  after the repositioning cruise Sometimes one-way international flights can be costly. If you are not continuing to travel onward, the repositioning cruise may not be financially practical.

How to Lessen the Expense of a Return Flight After a Repositioning Cruise :

  • Use travel hacking techniques and/or redeem points to book a return flight for cheap or free.
  • There are some great budget airlines with inter-continental flights. Example: it’s now easily possible to score flight deals between Europe and the US for under $500.
  • If you have the flexibility, you can just continue traveling. (That’s the solution we take!)

Yet even if you don’t have the flexibility of time to continue traveling, these cruises are still bargains even with the added cost of a return flight, perhaps just slightly less so.

Consider: Length of Voyage of Repositioning Cruises May Be Prohibitive

The average transatlantic repositioning cruise takes about two weeks, while transpacific cruises and other routes can take three weeks or even longer. The longest repositioning cruise we’ve taken was 30 days, from Italy to South Africa.

We’re fortunate to have the flexibility of time when planning our voyages. Yet many working Americans only get about two weeks of vacation time per year, so such a crossing may not make sense or be logistically possible. It could be completely illogical to spend two weeks crossing the Atlantic, only to then immediately take a flight back home.

How to Take Advantage of Long Repositioning Cruise Voyages

Repositioning cruises may not be ideal for people with limited vacation time. If you’re not in a position to take an expanse of time off from your job, you may want to reconsider taking a repositioning cruise.

So who can take advantage of repositioning cruises ?

  • Location independent professionals,
  • long-term travelers,
  • people on sabbatical or a gap year,
  • those who are relocating from one region to another,
  • digital nomads, and
  • retirees (which leads us to the next point).

Consider: Repositioning Cruises Attract a Mature Crowd

Retirees have long known about the travel secret of repositioning cruises. Many savvy seniors rightfully take full advantage of these one-way cruise deals.

If you’re below the age of 60, you’ll likely be among the youngest 5% of passengers on a repositioning cruise. This may be a turnoff for Gen X, Millenials, or Gen Z passengers.

How to Find Your Tribe on Repositioning Cruises :

Enjoy everyone! We took a dozen repositioning cruises throughout our 30s and we loved meeting interesting people regardless of whether they were one of the few passengers on repositioning cruises our age to the 80-year-olds on the cruises and everyone in between.

Besides, 60s are the new 40s! While repositioning cruises typically attract a more mature crowd, they certainly aren’t a floating geriatric retirement center.

The people who go on repositioning cruises t end to be adventurous souls who like to have a good time . Many older repositioning cruise travelers have done a heck of a lot more traveling than we have. They have some incredible travel stories to share! They’re often savvy travelers too and understand great travel value, so we always share that in common with our fellow repositioning cruisers and swap tips.

These adventurous cross-ocean cruise itineraries tend to attract fun-loving groups and many of them can party harder than we can. Just think about your crazy drunk uncle or your fun aunt. There are lots of them onboard, and they are awesome!

And there’s always at least a handful of other people onboard who are around our age. They stick out, just like we do, so the younger people are easy to spot. Being among the only younger passengers on the ship, you’ll have something to immediately bond over. After two weeks at sea together, you may have just developed a lifelong friendship.

Consider: Waiting for Cheapest Rates on Repositioning Cruises Can Be a Gamble

Sometimes it takes a bit of knowledge and watching rates to score a highly discounted price on a repositioning cruise. Repositioning cruise rates fluctuate greatly based on supply and demand. So it can be tricky to score a repositioning cruise bargain at the super-cheap prices we’ve touted in this post.

It’s often a good strategy to wait until the last minute to score a bargain. Yet you run the very real risk of prices rising or a repositioning cruise selling out. It’s a gamble.

How to Snag Great Deals on Repositioning Cruises

  • Be thorough when you search for repositioning cruises
  • Book a refundable cruise fare. Then keep an eye on the price. If it drops, have your fare adjusted or cancel and rebook the cruise. Or book a different cruise if you discover something else, and cancel your refundable repositioning cruise.
  • Yet if you’re flexible with the cruise line and exact itinerary, the gamble of waiting usually pays off to snag last-minute deals on common repositioning cruise routes. The more flexible you are, the better. If you can be brave enough to wait until a month or so before the departure and book a non-refundable fare, this is often the best time to book a low-priced repositioning cruise on common routes.

Consider: Solo Travelers Are Hit with Heavy Single Supplement Fees

Solo travelers can have a difficult time finding great deals on repositioning since cruises tend to impose a single supplement fee. It’s usually at least 50%-75%, but is more often double the price – ouch! Therefore repositioning cruises, or cruising in general, can often become cost prohibitive for solo travelers.

How Solo Cruises Can Try to Avoid the Single Supplement Fee on Repositioning Cruises

  • Sometimes repositioning cruise rates go so low, that they’re still affordable even when having to pay a single supplement. For example: if you find a $400 repositioning cruise with a 100% single supplement fee, the $800 fare can still be a great deal for a 2-week voyage.
  • Try to find a travel buddy to join you.
  • Some cruise lines are nice enough to waive a single supplement fee. Seek these out! We’ve found that Norwegian tends to be the most generous at waiving single supplement fees and some NCL ships even have solo cruiser cabins and lounges.

Consider: The Wifi on Repositioning Cruises Can Be Slow and Costly

For those who need to stay connected for work or other responsibilities, repositioning cruises can become problematic. Wifi during repositioning cruises tends to be slow and very expensive. Often the cost to have unlimited wifi during the voyage can exceed the cost of the entire repositioning cruise itself. It’s that expensive!

Wifi usually runs on a satellite signal. So while out in the middle of the ocean, it can become extremely sluggish or will go out entirely. Yet as cruise ships upgrade to more reliable wifi technology, like Starlink, this should become less of an issue.

How to overcome expensive wifi on repositioning cruises :

For those who need some minimal connectivity, like us, repositioning cruises can still be very feasible.

  • If you’re able to take a digital detox without having work obligations, it can be so refreshing to disconnect for a few weeks.
  • If not, then whenever in port, visit cafes with free wifi or use your phone to connect if it has an international data plan.
  • Buy small internet packages to take care of crucial tasks while at sea.
  • And be sure to use all our Cruise Wifi Hacks .

using a laptop while on a repositioning cruise

Consider: Extra Costs Add To the Total Price of Repositioning Cruises

Wifi isn’t the only item that’ll add a significant expense to a repositioning cruise. First, understand that the prices you see listed online usually don’t include port fees and taxes, which often tacks on an extra few hundred dollars to the total cost of the cruise.

In addition to those fees, once onboard, you’re charged an additional $10-$15 per person, per day for gratuities to the deserving waitstaff and cabin steward. For a two-week repositioning cruise that can add up to an extra $400 for a couple to your total cruise expense.

Additionally, alcoholic drinks are often pricey cruises, as are shore excursions to take while in port.

Minimize and Budget For Additional Repositioning Cruise Fees and Expenses

  • Take taxes and port fees are unavoidable. When searching cruises, see the full cost including these fees.
  • Research the gratuities on your ship and budget accordingly for them.
  • Don’t throw money away in the casino.
  • When in port, go ashore independently to avoid expensive group tours offered by the cruise line.
  • Limit your drinking while on repositioning cruises and take advantage of our 25 Best Ways to Get Free and Cheap Drinks on a Cruise .

Consider: The Best Repositioning Cruise Deals Are For Interior Staterooms

The best deals are usually for interior staterooms (meaning, no balcony or window). To enjoy the luxury of waking up to the ocean breeze in your stateroom, you’re likely going to need to pay more than the prices we’ve mentioned throughout this article.

But not necessarily. Inexpensive veranda rooms are possible on repositioning cruises. We’ve regularly seen balcony staterooms on repositioning cruises for less than $1,000 per person, per sailing. On rare occasions, we’ve even managed to score deals in which the cruise was selling balcony staterooms for the same price as interior staterooms!

If the price is right, it can certainly be worth it to upgrade to a balcony stateroom during repositioning cruises, given all the extra time at sea.

How to Find Inexpensive Balcony Staterooms on Repositioning Cruises :

  • If a balcony room is important to you, filter your search accordingly and sniff out the cheapest repositioning cruises with balconies.
  • After purchasing an inside or outside cabin, bid for an upgrade to a balcony.
  • Read our comprehensive article detailing: 10 Secrets How to Get a Free Balcony Upgrade on a Cruise

Woman lounging on bed of balcony stateroom while sailing out of Vancouver on a transpacific repositioning cruise

Travel Tips for Repositioning Cruises

Choose the best cruise line to fit your repositioning cruise desires.

We’re often asked, what’s the best cruise line for repositioning cruises? The answer is highly subjective.

Personally, we like to focus on the best itineraries and the best values. That has led us to cruise on most major cruise lines and even a few more obscure lines. While we’ve definitely enjoyed some cruise lines more than others, we have no favorite to suggest to a wide audience. We’re often easy to please whenever on a repositioning cruise that has a great itinerary at a low cost.

But other travelers can be much more particular about their preference in choosing a cruise line for a long voyage like a repositioning cruise. All cruise brands are different. So if you’re going to call the ship home for several weeks, it’s a good idea to ensure the cruise line is a good fit for you. Your experience on a repositioning cruise can be greatly affected by the cruise line you choose.

Here are our personal opinions having taken repositioning cruises on the following lines:

  • Carnival – Casual, we enjoy the “fun ship” but the party atmosphere may not be for everyone
  • Costa – Caters to European travelers, excellent Italian food, subpar amenities, and entertainment
  • Celebrity – Lives up to its “modern luxury” branding, great dining, elegant yet still fun
  • Holland America – Refined yet relaxed, great dining, older crowd, fantastic enrichment, best itineraries
  • MSC – Experience varies by ship with older 3-star ships being subpar yet we’ve still enjoyed, can be a largely international crowd depending on the repositioning cruise route
  • Norwegian – Casual, focus on flexibility, more areas to spend $ than other lines, fantastic entertainment
  • Royal Caribbean – Casual and fun, good all-around experience, lots of onboard activities

Research Ports Before Your Repositioning Cruise

If you like to explore, ensure to do research on your ports before you embark on your repositioning cruise. Or download travel articles and ebooks about the destinations to read during sea days.

It can be nice to arrive at a port with a solid plan of what you want to do with the minimal time you have there. If you’re comfortable traveling independently, exploring on your own will help save significantly on costs in comparison to purchasing the ship’s pricy shore excursions. Just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship so you don’t get left behind!

Research popular points of interest. Determine the best ways to reach attractions, whether that be by walking, public transportation, taxi, or a local tour.

Take Full Advantage of the Entertainment and Onboard Amenities

Most of the amenities, activities, and entertainment on repositioning cruises are free. Don’t be a homebody and sit in your stateroom during the sea days. Get out there and take advantage of all the fun things to do on the ship itself.

Get out of your comfort zone and try something new, even if it’s not something you typically enjoy. Participate in progressive trivia, which can be a great way to make new friends. Go to the enrichment lectures to learn about the destinations you’re visiting. Make it a point to attend the shows in the evening and get a front-row seat! Eat all the food and do all the things !

Important Things to Do on the First Day of a Repositioning Soon

There are a few things you should consider doing on the first day of any repositioning cruise to help ensure you’ll be comfortable throughout the long voyage.

Collage illustrating 4 things to do on the first day of a repositioning cruise:-read the daily itinerary-weigh yourself-check out library books-unpack all clothes

Here’s a checklist of tips for things to do on the embarkation day of any repositioning cruise.

🕒 1) Get with the program – A daily program always awaits new passengers. Check it. While other passengers could be clustering at the buffet for lunch, this lets you know what other complimentary restaurants are open to enjoy. It also helps to plan out the rest of the day. Start your repositioning cruise off right and be informed. Know when the muster drill is, where to go for the sail away party, and what time you can make dinner reservations.

🍽️ 2) Make dinner reservations – We always forgo traditional set dining times in favor of “anytime dining,” to have the flexibility to eat whenever we want. The drawback to this is sometimes there are popular periods, in which walk-ins can incur waits. This is particularly true on the busy first night of a cruise. To avoid this and waltz right into the main dining room, simply make a reservation soon after boarding the ship.

🛳️ 3) Explore every nook – Repositioning cruises are on ships that are often enormous! We’ve found that cruises tend to have many hidden venues and quiet nooks. Get to know this place that’ll be your home for several weeks. We like to get our bearings by walking the length of all major decks, plus going up & down the bow and stern stairs. In doing so, we’ve discovered many awesome spaces that we’ll retreat to throughout the voyage.

⚖️ 4) Weigh yourself – There are so many indulgent dining opportunities while cruising that many people say they pack on 5 lbs during each week of a repositioning cruise. With such an abundance of delicious food, a lengthy cruise can be dangerous to the waistline. So we like to keep track of that. We’ll always order dessert. But if the scale starts tipping too far in the wrong direction, we’ll know it’s time to start making healthier choices.

📚 5) Get to the library – Most cruises have a healthy stocked library. But on long repositioning cruises, the best books can get swooped up quickly. Those planning to do some reading at sea must act fast!

💆‍♀️ 6) Enter the Spa Raffle – On most ships, the spa usually has a raffle on the first day of the cruise in which they’ll give away spa passes and free treatments. You must be present to win. Find out when it is and then take 20 minutes to listen to their offers and enter the raffle. You may win spa access for the length of the cruise or a treatment during a slow sea day.

🧳 7) Unpack and unwind – This may seem obvious, but when staying in hotels for 2-3 nights at a time it can be counterproductive to unpack everything. We don’t. But lengthy cruises offer the simple luxury of closet space! It’s something to fully take advantage of during a multi-week stay on these floating hotels. This can be the final embarkation day chore before fully slipping into vacation mode.

Stay Active during Sea Days

We’ve found it can get easy to feel sluggish during a long stretch of sea days during a repositioning cruise. But it can feel good to stay active! Hit the gym and then give yourself a good excuse to have a second dessert.

Personally, we love to simply walk laps around the outer deck during repositioning cruises. It’s nice to get those fresh ocean breezes and listen to the endless swells while watching for marine life and getting a bit of exercise.

Walking the outer deck to exercise on a lengthy repositioning cruise

Ensure to Stay Safe By Having Medical Coverage on Your Repositioning Cruise

When traveling great expanses across the ocean, a travel insurance policy is an absolute must-have. We never take a repositioning cruise without travel insurance. Sure, travel protect the investment of the repositioning cruise itself. Yet, more importantly, travel insurance can help keep you safe in the event of any illness or unfortunate accident during a repositioning cruise.

The shipboard doctor visits on cruises are notoriously expensive should you need their services. A good travel policy will help to cover the hundreds of dollars of your shipboard doctor visit if you were to get a cold. But what you really need to have travel insurance coverage for is in the instance of something really serious happens and you’d need to cover the hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical evacuation and/or repatriation . Without proper travel insurance, such an unfortunate occurrence would be financially devastating .

Helipad on bow of cruise ship, which can be used for emergency evacuations

Thankfully, we’ve never had to be medically evacuated from a cruise ship. But travel insurance has covered our medical bills and has even lost luggage when flying in to catch a repositioning cruise. In that instance, I was allotted $800 to buy new clothes, so we got to go on a shopping spree before our cruise! Needless to say, travel insurance can pay for itself.

Find a policy and coverage that fits your needs. As for what travel insurance coverage to buy for your repositioning cruise , consider the following plans, depending on your coverage needs. (We’ve used each of these for different coverage needs.)

  • Safety Wing – A travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads. Low-cost coverage can be used as a safety net to cover critical medical needs that may arise. Covers most nationalities, up to age 69. Get a quick quote .
  • World Nomads – More comprehensive coverage, including adventure sports, higher medical coverage limits, trip cancellation, and more. Covers most nationalities, up to age 70. Get a quick quote .
  • CruiseSafe by VisitorsCoverage is comprehensive travel and medical insurance, that includes trip cancellation and medical evacuations. Typically more expensive, but offers comprehensive coverage that is specific to cruise travel. Covers up to age 99. Get a quick quote .

Pack for Versatility on a Repositioning Cruise

It’s possible that you’ll need formal wear and beachwear for a repositioning cruise. Given that you’re changing regions, you may also need to pack for tropical climates and cold weather climates all in the same trip.

Pack light, but bring layers for varying weather conditions. Do your best to pack versatile clothes that can be repurposed.

Be strategic in how you pack too! If traveling from a cold weather climate to a warm weather climate, pack the warm-weather clothes on the bottom of your luggage. Then once in a warm-weather location, stuff your jackets, gloves, and scarves into packing cubes like these  so they don’t get in the way of the warm-weather clothing you now need.

When it comes to formalwear on repositioning cruises , packing can be a challenge. Many repositioning cruises have a few formal nights throughout the long voyage when most passengers dress up and a dress code may be imposed in the dining room. This can pose a problem for nomads and long-term travelers who aren’t roaming the world with suits and cocktail dresses in their packs.

So there are some different strategies to use for formal nights on repositioning cruises :

  • Choose a cruise line, like NCL, that doesn’t have a formal night.
  • Don’t participate in formal night and hit the buffet instead.
  • Go to a thrift store to buy cheap yet acceptable formalwear. Then donate it after the cruise, so you don’t have to continue to carry it in your luggage. (We’ve often done this.)
  • For men, jackets are often the norm but I’ve been greeted in the main dining room on formal night wearing slacks, a collared shirt, and a tie.
  • For women, pack a versatile dress that can be dressed up or down.

For more packing tips or inspiration on what to pack, read our Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist and Packing Tips for World Travel .

Packing cubes on deck of cruise ship, packing winter clothes while cruising to warmer tropical climate

Have a Plan for Laundry on Repositioning Cruises

Repositioning cruises are lengthy voyages, so you may have a need to have your clothes washed. Laundry service is available on repositioning cruises, but it tends to be quite pricy. Be sure to have a plan.

Here are a few ideas for doing laundry on lengthy cruises:

  • Just pay for laundry on the cruise and budget accordingly.
  • When on the ship keep an eye out for sales on laundry service .
  • Pack enough clean clothes to last the entire voyage .
  • Hand wash laundry in the sink. Pack a small bottle of Woolite or these travel packets of SinkSuds.
  • If you have a long or overnight port call, get your clothes washed for cheap on land.
  • Self-service laundry is increasingly rare on cruises, but some ships still have laundry facilities. If your ship does, plan according.

Enjoy The Unique Repositioning Cruise Journey!

Repositioning cruises are a different type of travel. Take some time out of your day to appreciate this unique mode of transportation as you ply the seven seas! Soak in the endless views, catch the endless sunsets and sunrises, and get into the relaxing rhythm of the ocean swells. Enjoy!

Sunset atop a repositioning cruise voyaging in the Red Sea

More Cruise Tips to Save Money on Your Repositioning Cruise!

Are you intrigued about repositioning cruises? Don’t stop reading now! We’ve still got lots more to spill. Be sure to check out these articles below for further reading all of our best cruise tips:

🚢 Be sure to check out  all of our favorite cruise tips  in our latest article about cruising:  Top 50+ Cruise Hacks to Save You Money, Hassle, and Weight Gain .

🚢 Want a balcony stateroom, but can only afford an inside cabin? You need to read our:  10 Secrets to Get a Free Balcony Upgrade on a Cruise .

🚢 Have some fun drinking on a repositioning cruise without breaking the bank: 25 Best Ways to Get Free and Cheap Drinks on a Cruise .

🚢 And see how we used a series of repositioning cruises to string together an entire Cheap World Cruise on A Budget .

Conclusion: Travel Guide to Repositioning Cruises

Okay, I know that was a lot to take in. Thank you for reading our Ultimate Guide to Repositioning Cruises! If you’ve skimmed your way to the end of this post or think you may need to refer back to this post later, then consider bookmarking this page to refer back to .

We hope that this article has given you a thorough understanding of what a repositioning cruise is, how it came to be, and the many benefits of taking one.

Repositioning cruises offer a unique and affordable way to travel the world. If it’s an intriguing travel idea that is feasible for you, we’d encourage you to consider taking one on your next adventure. With our guide, you now have all the tools to plan the ultimate repositioning cruise experience. Hopefully, our tips and tricks will help overcome any challenges so you can make the most of your repositioning cruise.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time cruiser, we hope that our guide has been helpful in your quest to explore the world on a repositioning cruise.

If you have any other questions about repositioning cruises that weren’t covered in this guide, please ask them in the comments section below. Other readers may be wanting to know the same thing! We’ll be sure to respond back and may even add the info to our guide as we update it in the future.

John & Heather, publishers of RoamingAroundtheWorld, take a selfie atop a cruise ship

Bon voyage! -John & Heather

Related Posts

50 Cruise Hacks and Tips to Save You Money, Hassle, and Weight Gain

April 8, 2024 at 3:37 PM

Thanks for such a thorough article with great tips. My 91 year old mother has just said she would do one, and I’m so happy. I’ve wanted to travel with her since I retired. Never done a repo cruise – diving in to learn about it, and your article is a great starting point.

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

August 8, 2022 at 1:43 AM

Excellent information in Great detail.obviously it seems more for the American people but we Europeans do appreciate it Thank you so much

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

December 9, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Very informative information but our goal is to take a re positioning ship to Europe ( Spain, Italy or any similar Mediterranean port or country) but being claustrophobic (meaning I can’t fly) what we’re trying to do is take a ship across to Europe “one way” and spend whatever amount of time is necessary exploring parts of Europe (example: 2 to 3 months but we’re flexible ) and then take a re positioning ship back to the USA’s east coast (preferably Florida but not imperative) but I can’t seem to get clear information if this is available… Cordially Ray and Rose

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

December 12, 2016 at 3:24 PM

Yes, you most definitely can do that. Florida happens to be one of the best places to do it from. But you may find it necessary to spend at least 4 or 5 months exploring Europe in order to get the timing right. You need to book two separate cruises. Most repositioning cruises from Florida to Europe go in April (with a few at the end of March and beginning of May). So you’ll likely arrive in Europe around sometime in May. Cruises returning from Europe to Florida begin around mid-September which really comes to an apex in October and lingers into early November. So if you were able to find an early May repositioning cruise to Europe and then a mid-September cruise returning, that would give you four months in Europe to explore over the summer. If you’re flexible to stay a little longer on either end, you’ll have even more options. Hope that helps!

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

February 12, 2016 at 7:32 AM

We have a trans-atlantic cruise booked for April 2016 – looking for a map that we can print or get e-mailed to us of the route – my husband wants to keep track of each day – doing ft. lauderdale to azores (horta & ponta delgarda) then spain, france, belguim, netherlands and fly home from cophegan. don’t know which rt. holland america will use.

February 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Hi Pat, We also love having the cruises route to keep track of exactly where we’re going. I would recommend going to the Holland American website. Once their you can search for your exact cruise which will have the map route for your exact itinerary. Hope that helps!

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

November 20, 2015 at 2:47 PM

My friend and I are in our early 70’s and want to cruise a lot! Any tips for how to search for repositioning cruises would be great. Thanks, Bev in Utah

November 20, 2015 at 4:42 PM

Hi Bev! Be sure to see our next post in this series which provides our step-by-step strategies for exactly how to search for repositioning cruises. Its at this link here: http://www.roamingaroundtheworld.com/how-to-get-a-repositioning-cruise-deal-for-less-than-50-per-day/

There tends to be a lot of fun active retirees around your ages on the ship, so you’ll be in good company. Hope you find yourselves the perfect cruise and enjoy!

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

October 8, 2015 at 6:09 PM

Hey! I really love your blog and this post is pretty cool! I also have a blog, so I read a lot of travel blogs… so far you are the best! Really great tips and insights… and you write so well! you should’t have 1000 followers, but 100.000! Congrats!

October 10, 2015 at 7:05 AM

Thanks for stopping by and for such the kind words, which are very encouraging! Looking forward to following along your blog as well. We’re in Portugal now! (Azores)

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

November 5, 2014 at 6:40 AM

I agree with your post that there are a lot of fun activities we can enjoy if we go for repositioning cruise.For the cost, we can ask if there are also onboard credit or any great cruise deals because there are some limited promotions that we might avail.

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Three carnival ships reposition for alaska, europe seasons.

Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Spirit to Begin Alaska Season, Carnival Pride Sails to Europe

MIAMI, April 13, 2023 – Carnival Cruise Line guests on two ships are beginning spectacular voyages today which will cross both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, respectively, as a third ship will begin another Carnival Journeys cruise in the coming days. Carnival Luminosa departed Brisbane, Australia, today to embark on a sailing spanning more than three weeks to arrive in Seattle on May 4 for the upcoming start of her Alaska season. Carnival Pride is departing Tampa today on her transatlantic cruise to Europe and, this weekend, Carnival Spirit will sail from Miami to Seattle.

Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Spirit Sailing to Seattle After a successful inaugural season in Brisbane, Australia , Carnival Luminosa is embarking on an incredible 23-day transpacific sailing and will visit beautiful destinations along the way, such as New Caledonia and Fiji, before crossing the International Dateline and visiting Tahiti and Hawaii, then docking at the Port of Seattle May 4 for the start of her 2023 Alaska season. Her arrival in Seattle will mark Carnival Luminosa’s first time sailing in U.S. waters since joining the fleet in November 2022. “Guests on board Carnival Luminosa have thoroughly enjoyed all the extraordinary experiences of sailing from Australia, visiting pristine beaches and taking in the local culture. Now, our fantastic shipboard crew members have a great opportunity to share this beautiful ship with even more guests for a new series of unforgettable cruises across Alaska,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. On Sunday, Carnival Spirit will depart Miami for a 16-day cruise to Seattle. She’ll arrive just ahead of Carnival Luminosa, on May 2, 2023, to begin operating in Alaska. Along the way, guests will stop in destinations such as Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and they will also cruise through the Panama Canal. From Seattle, Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Spirit will each sail a four-month Alaska schedule, along with their sister ship, Carnival Miracle , which departs from San Francisco . The ships will sail a total of 49 Alaskan cruises, ranging from six- to fourteen-day sailings to port favorites like Juneau, Sitka, Skagway and the scenic cruising of Tracy Arm Fjord or Endicott Arm Fjord. After completing the upcoming Alaska season, Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Spirit will operate additional Carnival Journeys sailings, with Carnival Luminosa sailing a spectacular 30-day transpacific voyage back to Brisbane, Australia. Next year, when Carnival Luminosa returns to Seattle for the 2024 Alaska season, the ship will operate one of Carnival’s longest-ever cruises. The 31-day journey will depart April 1, 2024, and visit several exotic destinations, including Guam and Hiroshima and Yokohama, Japan. For more information on Carnival Luminosa’s upcoming sailings, click here . Carnival Spirit will conclude its deployment for Alaska season by embarking on a 16-day sailing to New Orleans , again sailing through the Panama Canal, before repositioning to her new homeport of Mobile, Ala. on Oct. 6, 2023. Next year, Carnival Spirit will return for Alaska season on a similar voyage that departs April 7, 2024, cruises through the Panama Canal and features stops in destinations such as Cartagena, Colombia and Costa Rica. For more information on Carnival Spirit’s upcoming sailings, click here .

Carnival Pride Cruises to Europe             Carnival Pride is embarking on a 13-day transatlantic sailing from Port Tampa Bay to Barcelona, Spain. During the sailing, guests will visit Ponta Delgada in the Azores, as well as Malaga and Valencia, Spain. Before beginning her summer season in Europe, Carnival Pride will undergo refurbishments, including the addition of the stunning new Carnival livery – a red, white and blue hull design. The livery serves as an homage to the patriotic colors that also represent Carnival, which proudly sails as America’s Cruise Line.             Guests sailing Carnival Pride when she returns to service May 28, 2023 will experience further enhancements including the addition of a Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge , the fifth bar in the Carnival fleet which salutes the military. Guests will also enjoy an upgraded Cloud 9 Spa and Fitness Center, with new equipment, and sporting a fresh look and feel. The 2,680-guest Carnival Pride will feature enhancements to its steakhouse, which will be rebranded as Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, and span two decks. The ship will also be home to a new Carnival Adventures shop and Dreams Photography Studio . Carnival Pride will sail a series of 15 European cruises from May 28, 2023 through Oct. 28, 2023. The upcoming season features various cruise lengths and itineraries with departures from Dover, UK; Barcelona, Spain; and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. Carnival Pride concludes its European season with a 15-day transatlantic voyage back to the U.S. that departs Oct. 28, 2023. Next year, Carnival Legend will operate 17 European sailings. The ship’s rich program for 2024 offers a wide range of cruises that feature diverse and spectacular destinations between two transatlantic sailings – with a spring departure cruise from Baltimore, M.D. to Barcelona, Spain and a 15-day return trip in the fall from Civitavecchia to Tampa, Fla.  For more information about European sailings open for sale, click here . For additional information on Carnival Cruise Line and to book a cruise vacation on Carnival, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit http://www.carnival.com , or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site. # # # ABOUT CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE Carnival Cruise Line, part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is proud to be known as America's Cruise Line, for carrying more Americans and serving more U.S. homeports than any other. Since its founding in 1972, Carnival has continually revolutionized the cruise sector, making a cruise vacation an affordable and popular option for millions of guests. Carnival operates from 14 U.S. and two Australian homeports and employs more than 40,000 team members representing 120 nationalities. Carnival currently operates 24 ships and is in an exciting period of growth, with Carnival Celebration and Carnival Luminosa, which began guest operations in November, and three additional ships joining the fleet by 2024.

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Carnival Repositioning Cruises: Discover Uncharted Waters and Experience Ultimate Relaxation

  • October 29th, 2023

Table Of Contents

Imagine yourself embarking on a thrilling adventure across the vast ocean, discovering new horizons and breathtaking destinations. Carnival Repositioning Cruises offer you the opportunity to indulge in a unique travel experience, where luxury meets exploration. With enticing itineraries and a wide array of onboard amenities and entertainment, these cruises are designed to cater to your every need. In this article, we will delve into the benefits of Carnival Repositioning Cruises, explore the captivating destinations they take you to, and provide you with valuable tips for planning your unforgettable journey.

Benefits of Carnival Repositioning Cruises

If you frequently crave unique travel experiences, you’ll love the benefits of Carnival Repositioning Cruises . These cruises offer a variety of advantages that set them apart from traditional cruise vacations. One of the biggest benefits is the opportunity to enjoy significant cruise discounts. As Carnival repositions their ships from one region to another, they often offers discounted fares to fill up the empty cabins. This means you can experience the luxury of a cruise vacation at a fraction of the price.

But it’s not just about the savings. Carnival Repositioning Cruises also provides you with the chance to embark on truly unique experiences. As the ships move from one destination to another, you’ll have the opportunity to explore lesser-known ports and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Imagine stepping foot in a small coastal town that is rarely visited by tourists, or discovering a hidden gem of an island that few have ever seen. These are the types of experiences that Carnival Repositioning Cruises offers.

Not only will you get to visit new and exciting destinations, but you’ll also have the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. Whether it’s trying the local cuisine, participating in traditional activities, or simply interacting with the friendly locals, Carnival Repositioning Cruises allows you to truly connect with the places you visit.

Destinations and Itineraries

Choose from a variety of exciting destinations and itineraries for your Carnival Repositioning Cruise. Carnival offers popular repositioning routes that take you to some of the most breathtaking and sought-after locations in the world. Whether you prefer a tropical paradise, a historical city, or a cultural hub, there is a repositioning cruise itinerary that will suit your preferences.

One popular repositioning route is the Transatlantic crossing from Europe to the Americas. Imagine sailing across the vast Atlantic Ocean, taking in the stunning views of the open sea as you make your way to iconic destinations like Miami or New York City. This route is perfect for those who enjoy the tranquility of long days at sea, with plenty of onboard activities to keep you entertained.

Another popular option is the Panama Canal repositioning cruise. This itinerary takes you from the Caribbean to the Pacific, passing through the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal. You’ll have the opportunity to explore vibrant cities like Cartagena and Puerto Vallarta, as well as enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Costa Rica and Mexico’s Pacific coast.

The best time for repositioning cruises depends on the specific itinerary you choose. Generally, these cruises are offered during the shoulder seasons when cruise lines need to move their ships between different regions. Spring and fall are popular times for repositioning cruises, as the weather is usually mild and the destinations are less crowded.

No matter which destination or itinerary you choose, a Carnival Repositioning Cruise promises an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on a journey to some of the world’s most exciting and diverse destinations.

Onboard Amenities and Entertainment

As you embark on your Carnival Repositioning Cruise, you’ll consistently find a wide range of onboard amenities and entertainment options to enhance your journey. One of the highlights of your cruise experience will be the onboard dining options. From casual buffet-style meals to elegant fine dining, Carnival offers a variety of culinary delights to suit every taste. Start your day with a delicious breakfast at the main dining room or grab a quick bite at one of the many cafes. For lunch, you can choose from a selection of international cuisines, including Italian, Mexican, and Asian. In the evening, indulge in a gourmet dinner at one of the specialty restaurants, where you can savor mouthwatering dishes prepared by world-class chefs.

When it comes to entertainment, Carnival goes above and beyond to ensure that your days and nights are filled with excitement. Prepare to be amazed by the live performances onboard. From Broadway-style productions to comedy shows and live music performances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Marvel at the talented dancers and singers as they take the stage and transport you to a world of enchantment. Laugh out loud at the hilarious stand-up comedians who will have you in stitches. And dance the night away to the sounds of live bands and DJs.

In addition to the live performances, Carnival also offers a variety of activities and amenities to keep you entertained throughout your cruise. Take a dip in one of the onboard pools, relax in the spa, or try your luck at the casino. Participate in the numerous onboard activities, such as trivia contests, cooking demonstrations, and fitness classes. And don’t forget to check out the bars and lounges, where you can sip on a refreshing cocktail while enjoying panoramic views of the ocean.

With an array of onboard amenities and entertainment options, your Carnival Repositioning Cruise promises to be an unforgettable experience. So sit back, relax, and let the fun begin!

Tips for Planning Your Carnival Repositioning Cruise

Plan your Carnival Repositioning Cruise with these helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. When it comes to planning your cruise, there are a few key things to keep in mind to make the most of your experience and stay within your budget.

  • Research cruise deals : Before booking your Carnival Repositioning Cruise, take the time to research and compare different cruise deals. Many cruise lines offer special promotions and discounts for repositioning cruises, so be sure to shop around and find the best deal that fits your budget.
  • Set a budget : It’s important to set a budget for your Carnival Repositioning Cruise and stick to it. Determine how much you are willing to spend on accommodations, meals, activities, and any additional expenses. This will help you make informed decisions and avoid overspending during your trip.
  • Plan ahead : Planning ahead is crucial when it comes to a repositioning cruise. These cruises often have longer itineraries and can take you to different ports of call. Research the destinations you will be visiting, plan your excursions in advance, and make the most of your time ashore. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any must-see sights and experiences.
  • Pack wisely : When packing for your Carnival Repositioning Cruise, consider the changing climates and activities you’ll be participating in. Pack versatile clothing that can be layered, as well as comfortable shoes for exploring onshore. Don’t forget to bring any necessary medications or toiletries, as well as any travel documents or identification required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age restrictions for carnival repositioning cruises.

Age restrictions on Carnival repositioning cruises vary depending on the cruise line and specific itinerary. However, most Carnival cruises have a minimum age requirement of 6 months. For certain destinations or activities, such as the spa or casino, guests must be at least 18 years old. Families can enjoy amenities like swimming pools, water slides, mini-golf, and kids’ clubs. Adults can indulge in world-class dining options, live entertainment, and relaxing spa treatments.

Are There Any Special Events or Themed Cruises Offered During Carnival Repositioning Cruises?

During Carnival Repositioning Cruises, you’ll be delighted to know that there are indeed special events and themed cruises offered. Imagine immersing yourself in a world of excitement and adventure, where each day brings a new and unique experience. From themed parties and costume contests to live performances and interactive workshops, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Get ready to create unforgettable memories as you sail the seas on a Carnival Repositioning Cruise filled with special events and themed cruises.

Can I Bring My Pet on Board During a Carnival Repositioning Cruise?

Yes, you can bring your pet on board during a Carnival repositioning cruise! They offer pet-friendly accommodations for furry friends like yours. You’ll be able to enjoy the cruise without worrying about leaving your beloved pet behind. Whether you have a dog or a cat, they will provide a comfortable and safe environment for them. So pack your pet’s essentials and get ready for a memorable cruise experience together!

Are There Any Medical Facilities or Services Available on Carnival Repositioning Cruises?

When it comes to Carnival repositioning cruises, one important aspect to consider is the availability of medical facilities and services. You might be wondering if there are medical assistance options onboard. Well, let me tell you, Carnival repositioning cruises pride themselves in providing top-notch medical facilities and services to ensure the well-being of their passengers. So, whether you need basic medical attention or require more specialized care, rest assured that Carnival repositioning cruises have got you covered.

Can I Purchase Internet Access on Board During a Carnival Repositioning Cruise?

You’ll be happy to know that purchasing internet access is available on board during your Carnival repositioning cruise. Whether you need to stay connected for work or simply want to share your amazing vacation photos with friends and family, you’ll have the option to purchase internet access and stay connected while at sea. So go ahead and browse the web, check your emails, and stay connected with ease during your cruise.

So, now that you know all the amazing benefits of Carnival Repositioning Cruises, what are you waiting for? Get ready to set sail on an epic adventure, where you can relax, indulge in luxurious amenities, and explore breathtaking destinations. With Carnival’s repositioning cruises, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the journey of a lifetime. So grab your sunscreen, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable cruise with Carnival. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Repositioning Cruises Carnival: Embarking on a Journey to New Seas and Adventures

Holland america repositioning cruises: experience timeless elegance as you navigate to new shores.

Repositioning Cruises

Ships, Itineraries, Sailng Dates, Prices

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RepositionCruises.com has all Repositioning Cruises 2024-2025-2026 schedule as dates and itineraries officially announced by the world’s major cruise lines. here you’ll get your answers to questions like “What is a Repositioning Cruise”, what are the best destinations, how cheap are the prices, which are the best lines and ships, how to find them, why and when to take them, what are the benefits and disadvantages, what are the best or cheapest routes.

Some of our relocation cruise itineraries are the first transition voyages of the companies’ newest vessels (inaugurated in 2024-25). Another very useful information we provide is about the company’s itinerary changes in destinations/ports, operational regions/deployment, homeports (turnaround / departure ports). Whatever the reposition voyages might be as types, be sure that you’ll get the best-price ship travel deals to some of the world’s best-known vacation destinations!

Note: RepositionCruises.com selects the relocation itineraries from the ship schedules available at CruiseMapper.com .

What is a “Repositioning Cruise” (definition)

“Repositioning Cruise” is a one-off sea/ocean voyage that cruise passenger ships make when transferring from one operational region to another. Usually, this is done in Spring and Fall, often each year. But there are some exceptions to these “usual times”. Your off-season vacations will be marked by discounted cheap rates, big (yet not crowded) cruise ships, lots of “lazy leisure days” to enjoy the tranquillity of the sea.

Ship relocation deals are the preferable option for “highly addicted” travelers to enjoy a truly special and most affordable sea cruising vacation. The special ship relocation voyages always feature a one-way itinerary (connecting different embarkation and disembarkation ports) since cruise ships relatively often change their sailing areas due to economic reasons.

Another prominent feature of all these “ship transition cruises” deals is the bargain price – they all are really really cheap in comparison to the ship’s regular cruise rates. Repositioning deals are rarely called that way by travel agents or in companies’ brochures. One of the most popular substitute names officially used by the industry’s representatives is “Discovery Voyage”.

The list of synonyms for repositioning voyages includes: “Relocation Cruises”, “Transit-” or “Transition Cruises”, “Crossings” (also with “Eastbound” and “Westbound”). Of course, the most traditional (by definition) is “One-Way”, and also by destination – “Panama Canal”, “Suez Canal”, “Transpacific” and “Transatlantic”.

The reasons to book a relocation voyage are so many. These special offers are “different” voyages that offer unique opportunities like Atlantic Ocean crossings, visiting and sailing Alaska, Hawaii, and transiting Suez Canal and Panama Canal’s new locks (a true engineering miracle).

When considering this unique type of travel vacation-themed as “Repositioning Cruises”, know that it’s all about long and exciting voyages, transiting famous canals, crossing the world’s biggest oceans. You’ll be most probably sailing coast to coast, often from one sea to another. It’s about comfort and impeccable service on some of the world’s best cruise liners. It’s about all the fun you can get on up to 3-week transitions visiting different continents, changing cold with warm climates. It’s about a resort-type swimming pool and Jacuzzi experiences, gourmet cuisine, bingo and casino thrills, onboard duty-free shopping. Some ships even offer rock climbing, surfing, Zip-lining, hovering, and ice-skating at sea.

Why take reposition cruises?

  • It’s a longer (often Transoceanic) voyage
  • The itinerary has only a few ports of call. Destinations are from the “special and exotic” category, featuring Africa, South America, Transatlantic and Transpacific, US East Coast and the Caribbean, often Asia and Australia.
  • Top-option for “best fun” experiences on bigger passenger ships, with a lot more sea days than on a normal voyage.
  • Irresistibly cheap rates – most affordable to cheap cruise rates on both mainstream and top luxury ships when they relocate in Spring and Fall each year.
  • These are all low-season discounted deals on alluringly low-priced cruises.

Still, whoever is blessed with enough free time and an adventurous spirit may enjoy each year at least one of the not-so-many repositioning cruise ships.

Repositioning cruise – examples, benefits, disadvantages

  • Passenger ships sailing during the hot summer in Alaska relocate in the Fall to the Caribbean Sea region through Panama Canal, or to Hawaii and then to Australia or Asia for their winter seasons.
  • Ships from Northern Europe sail to the Mediterranean Sea or across the Atlantic Ocean to operate roundtrip itineraries leaving from USA ports (Florida and New York mostly) or to the Caribbean for round-trips from Barbados or Puerto Rico.
  • Ships move from South America to Florida (for the Caribbean) or Transatlantic to Europe (Baltic or Mediterranean) in early Spring.
  • Search for ships sailing along Africa’s east coast. In the Fall they will be departing from UK (Southampton, mainly) to South Africa (Cape Town or Durban). In spring they will return (usually departing from Cape Town) to the UK or the Mediterranean. Such sailings are offered mainly by MSC and luxury ships.
  • They are cheap! The lower to absolutely cheapest price is the most important factor for the popularity of these special deals. The average cost of a repositioning cruise is up to 50% less compared to a typical round-trip sailing from the same port. And the best index is the “Price Per Person Per Day” – it could be as low as USD 40!
  • All relocation cruises offer a full set of entertainment and dining options onboard – they are just like the regular ones. This is the perfect chance to sample all the stuff on board since you are going to spend so much time at sea. There are even more onboard activities while ships reposition! The list of the “bonuses” includes guest lecturers, top comedians, and numerous themed activities and games to entertain guests.
  • And yes – the repositioning cruise ships are almost always not crowded.

Disadvantages

  • Too much time aboard the ship instead of visiting different ports of call (sea intensive as opposed to port intensive). Some find it pretty boring.
  • Embarkation and disembarkation not in the same port increase the expenses as to additional flight fares added to the cruise ticket price.
  • Spending a lot of time aboard the ship might tempt you to enjoy more “money spending fun” by splurging on bar drinks and gambling in the casino.
  • The duration of relocation cruises – some last up to 18 days, and most people cannot afford so much time off work.
  • You may experience an occasional “bumpy ride” due to rough waters (especially on smaller ships), and often “choppy weather” as your ship transits from one part of the globe to another. The “changing weather” issue will also have an impact on your packing list.

What time of year are the cheapest Repositioning Cruises?

Most of them are operated in Spring and Fall. Some exceptions are a few ship relocation itineraries in late-August, and some very rare very late re-position sailings in December, January, or February. The best and most busy months with readily available and cheap relocation cruise deals are April-May and September-October.

What are the best Repositioning Cruises?

When it happens that you have to choose what is the best, there’s this rule number one stating “expect the best from the best”. When you book on major cruise line ships, expect cheap rates, best value for money indices, lots of vessels in the fleet to choose from, great destinations, and service. The biggest companies and operators with regularly offered reposition voyages are Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, NCL-Norwegian, Costa, MSC, RCI-Royal Caribbean. Carnival and Disney also do ship transitions moving ships between Alaska and Australia (Caribbean).

All these company decisions are made with economic considerations in mind. Companies do cruise ship repositioning to improve profits by departing from different homeports or to more attractive destinations.

Some of the companies relocate vessels each year crossing the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the USA (Florida, New York, Boston) or South America (Brazil, Argentina).

Some ships reposition between Alaska and Australia (Transpacific) or between Alaska and Florida (with Panama Canal transits). Some lines offer to transit through Suez Canal on repositioning between Europe and Asia (the Red Sea or East Asia).

So what you gotta do is choose a destination and departure port. If you are a big fan of a particular company – just search its page here – it is that simple. If you ask “the best of the best” not as best prices, but rather as experiences, the simple answer to this question is “luxury cruises”. Generally, luxury cruise deals offer smaller ship cruise travel marked by sophisticated, all-inclusive, superb service experiences.

The list of top luxury lines includes Crystal, Seabourn, Azamara, Oceania. The more “affordable luxury” brands are Cunard, Celebrity, Princess, Holland America. If you love budget travel, save money and book deals on Carnival, RCI-Royal Caribbean, Costa, MSC – the cheapest of them all. Of course, the savings you can always spend on “ship drinks”, onboard gambling, Spa-beauty treatments and whatnot – the choice is always yours to make!

How much do repositioning cruises cost?

It depends on the itinerary as destination and length, but a one-way Transatlantic could cost as little as USD 60 Per Person per day (double occupancy, fares inclusive of taxes and fees). You might pay 50% or even less for a one-way reposition cruise than the normal price for a round-trip with multiple ports of call. What adds to these low prices is your one-way return flight fare. Still, you may purchase a cheap fly-cruise package with the flight fare included in the total price and a convenient departure from major US ports to the UK or the Mediterranean’s biggest port cities – Civitavecchia-Rome, Barcelona, and Venice being among the cheapest end-points. The same goes for Hawaii and Alaska. Never forget that almost all relocation cruises are operated in low season, so buying a discount cheap cruise and stay packages is always a quite reasonable option. You’ll be able to enjoy a budget-friendly off-season vacation to not-so-crowded places in some of the most charming and colorful seasons – the always new lush-luxuriant Spring and the melancholic-romantic Fall.

Repositioning Cruises 2024-2025-2026

Our website provides information on discounted one-way cruise itineraries and indicative cruise prices Per Person by line. In the table below you will find all ship relocation cruises 2024-25 voyages on all major cruise lines.

You can see detailed itinerary information and prices by following our lines-links (positioned on page right). To see relocation cruises by line, season, destination, or departure port (future project) – follow the respective links on the top page right.

For satellite AIS data-based tracking of cruise ships, passenger ferries, and riverboats see CruiseMapper’s tracker . For the latest incidents and accidents on passenger ships, you can visit CruiseMapper’s accidents section .

Visit us again soon for the latest Reposition Cruises 2024-2025-2026 updates on itineraries and prices. Since RepositionCruises.com doesn’t offer bookings, we can only wish you the best of luck with the real deals – good cabin availability, and good luck finding and booking them with the cheapest rates possible!

Repositioning cruise ships will surprise – will charm you, really, with their deals prices. And if you are a first-timer – don’t miss this rare opportunity to sample what the ship cruising is like – for a totally cheap price! Enjoy your “happily cheap” vacations, and best of luck with the damn prices out there!

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  • P&O (Australia, UK)
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Viking Ocean

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Repositioning Cruises

Carnival Valor

repositioning cruises 2023 carnival

Focusing on family cruising, Carnival Valor has activities for passengers of all ages. The ship features a 4,200 square foot area for kids, as well as an area exclusively for teens featuring a dance club and a coffee/soda bar. While the kids are away, adults can escape to the adults-only Serenity retreat for private relaxation and bar service. Kids and kids at heart will enjoy the 214-foot long, four deck tall Twister waterslide. Indulge at Scarlett’s Steakhouse or grab a quick bite at Blue Iguana Cantina or Guy’s Burger Joint. The entertainment never stops on Carnival Valor either, from Playlist Productions offering up song and dance tunes to Hasbro, The Game Show which turns childhood board game favorites into large scale versions for the whole family.

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Repositioning cruise deals.

Repositioning cruises are a little secret of the cruise industry and are one of the hottest cruise deals around! These are longer itineraries that usually take passengers from one continent to another as ships are repositioned from one seasonal destination to another. Best of all, they are offered at amazingly affordable prices! View our best repositioning cruise deals below, and get ready to see the world.

The reason these amazing itineraries are so affordable is that the ships are sailing in between seasons. So a ship in Alaska may leave in October to sail to Asia, or a ship in Europe might sail to the Caribbean in the winter. So if you want an amazing itinerary and you’re flexible with your time, a repositioning cruise might be perfect. Scroll down to check out our cruise specials and repositioning cruise deals. 

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Royal Caribbean: 60% OFF 2nd Guest and Kids Free*

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Oceania Cruises: FREE Drinks, WiFi, Excursion C...

Oceania Cruises: FREE Drinks, WiFi, Excursion C...

Celebrity Cruises: Choose ALL INCLUDED or NO PERK*

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Celebrity Repositioning cruises from $652*

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Carnival Miracle Repositioning to Galveston

  • March 2, 2023

Carnival Miracle

Carnival Cruise Line announced today it is expanding its offerings in Galveston, Tex., by bringing a fourth ship, the Carnival Miracle, to the port that will offer sailings of nine-, 10-, 11- and 12 days beginning in the fall of 2024 through spring 2025, the company said.

The Miracle was originally poised to spend the winter cruising from Long Beach after a summer of sailing from San Francisco.

Reservations for these departures from Texas are now open for sale.

“We have always offered a great variety of cruises from Galveston, but by adding a fourth Carnival ship to homeport in Galveston and sailing these longer itineraries, we are giving our guests great new choices, especially for those who want to experience a wider variety of beautiful ports of call and more time to enjoy their time at sea,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Galveston is one of our top homeports, and with the arrival of Carnival Jubilee and the new Carnival Miracle itineraries, it will only grow in popularity with our guests.”

The Carnival Miracle will reposition from San Francisco to Galveston on Oct. 1, 2024, and operate a Carnival Journeys voyage that visits Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; and a Panama Canal transit.

Once in Galveston, Carnival Miracle will offer a series of 19 cruises beginning on Oct. 16, 2024. A sampling of some of the new itineraries now open for sale include:

  • Nine-Day Exotic Western Caribbean Sailing departs Oct. 16, 2024, with stops in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico.
  • 10-Day Panama Canal Sailing departs Nov. 15, 2024, featuring stops in Cozumel, Mexico; Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama (and tours of the Panama Canal); and Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan.
  • 11-Day Exotic Caribbean Sailing departs Nov. 25, 2024, with visits to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Amber Cove; Grand Turk; Princess Cays and Nassau, The Bahamas.
  • 12-Day Carnival Journeys Southern Caribbean Sailing departs Jan. 26, 2025, and visits Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Aruba; Bonaire; Curacao; Cozumel. Mexico.

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Courtesy of Azamara

If you're ready for a break from holiday traditions and family gatherings at home, consider booking a Christmas cruise. What makes a better present than the chance to leave all the planning, cooking, cleaning and decorating behind – and celebrate the holidays in beautiful destinations in the U.S., the Caribbean or other countries around the world?

If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, you can book a festivity-filled river cruise along Europe's iconic waterways and bundle up in your winter gear to explore the Christmas markets in the snow. If you prefer sunshine and warm temperatures, celebrate the holidays in an exotic locale in the South Pacific Ocean, sailing crystal-clear turquoise waters and relaxing on white sand beaches surrounded by palm trees.

Whether you prefer to stay close to home or jet off for a bucket list adventure, one of these cruises may just be the perfect gift to celebrate your holidays in style.

Find your perfect cruise

Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise

Christmas on beach -chair lounges with Santa hats at sea beach

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Put your name on the waiting list for November 2024 if you want to set sail on what Hallmark touts as the "jolliest vacation ever." The Hallmark Channel – known for its year-round holiday-themed programming with Christmas in July, Countdown to Christmas and Christmas Fridays – will host the first-ever Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise sailings in November 2024 from Miami to the Bahamas . Lucky fans of the television channel will travel with their favorite Hallmark stars on one of two four-night cruises on Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Gem during the 2024 holiday season.

Highlights of the Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise include photo opportunities and panels to meet the stars. Attend Christmas craft workshops or tastings with Hallmark's winemaker – the wines have names like Jingle (cabernet sauvignon) and Joy (sauvignon blanc). Guests can also look forward to "carol-oke" singalongs, cookie decorating, an ugly sweater contest and a world premiere viewing of the new Hallmark Channel Christmas movie "Countdown to Christmas."

AmaWaterways

A Christmas market stand at an AmaWaterways cruise destination.

Courtesy of AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways offers more than a dozen itineraries to visit the Christmas markets in 2024 and 2025 along the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube and Rhone rivers – and to see the holiday splendor of Europe's grand cities, such as Vienna , Budapest, Amsterdam and Prague. Travelers can stroll through snow-dusted medieval squares and fairytale markets. Enjoy the chalet-inspired stalls, thousands of colorful lights, festive decorations, ice skating rinks, whimsical handmade gifts, Christmas carolers, carousels and more.

The river cruise line's seven-night Iconic Christmas Markets itinerary sails from Nuremberg, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary , along the Danube. It features a visit to Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt – one of the world's oldest and most famous Christmas markets. Sip hot mulled wine or feuerzangenbowle (a red wine and rum punch) and sample savory specialties like Nuremberg bratwurst, flammkuchen (pizza) and kartoffelpuffer (fried potato pancakes). Be sure to save room for sweet delights like schaumkuss (also known as schokokuss), a chocolate-covered marshmallow, or lebkuchen, a traditional spiced cookie.

While on board the ship, guests can participate in festivities like tree-trimming, cookie decorating, caroling and "Shoes for St. Nick." This European tradition encourages passengers to leave their slippers outside their stateroom door before bed. In the morning, they wake up to slippers filled with tasty treats like children in Europe find on Saint Nicholas Day.

Celebrity Cruises

The Celebrity Infinity ship on the Celebrity Cruises' Canaries, Morocco, Spain Holiday itinerary.

Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Celebrate Christmas Day at sea in the South Pacific Ocean during Celebrity's 2024 New Zealand Holiday cruise on board Celebrity Edge. This round-trip 13-night itinerary embarks on Dec. 20, 2024, from Sydney . It includes seven ports of call and five sea days. After ringing in the new year sailing between the Bay of Islands, New Zealand and Sydney, guests will disembark the ship on Jan. 2, 2025.

If you'd prefer to travel to the Canary Islands to celebrate Christmas and usher in the new year on the Mediterranean Sea in 2025, then reserve a stateroom or suite for Celebrity Cruises ' Canaries, Morocco & Spain itinerary. The 12-night voyage sails round-trip from Barcelona , embarking a few days before Christmas 2025 on Celebrity Infinity. The festive voyage features eight ports of call, including island of Gibraltar; the Moroccan cities of Casablanca and Tangier; three destinations in the Canary Islands; and Malaga, Spain.

On the ships, guests can revel in the joyous spirit of the season with festive Christmas trees, traditional holiday meals created by a Michelin-starred chef, themed shows and pop-ups, carolers, gingerbread winter villages, and even a visit from Santa. The onboard bars serve up holiday-inspired cocktails along with other seasonal favorites, including spiked apple cider and classic mulled wine. On New Year's Eve, plan to join in the merriment with fellow cruisers during the big countdown bash.

Christmas carolers on the Azamara Onward cruise ship.

If you want to cross South Africa off your list of must-visit destinations , consider spending Christmas and New Year's Eve sailing round-trip from Cape Town on Azamara 's 15-night South Africa Intensive Voyage. The 2024 voyage departs Dec. 20 on Azamara Quest and includes stops in Port Elizabeth, home to one of the densest elephant populations in the world, and Richards Bay, which is teeming with exotic wildlife and stunning landscapes. For a once-in-lifetime experience, reserve a spot on the Safari 4X4 Hippo Cruise in the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park. This protected park is a white rhino sanctuary, home to South Africa's "big five": lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and leopards.

If the Land Down Under is at the top of your list of places to visit, plan ahead for next year to spend the holidays aboard Azamara Pursuit in 2025. The line's 21-night Australia Intensive Voyage will set sail on Dec. 14, 2025, from Singapore . This extended sailing features 10 ports of call in three countries, with two overnight stays, before travelers disembark in Melbourne, Australia , on Jan. 4, 2026.

Guests on board the holiday cruises will be treated to Christmas performances, including singalongs and carols performed by the crew. There will be special menus in the restaurants, holiday-themed buffets, religious services and a tree-trimming party. Festive treats like hot chocolate, cookies and snacks are provided throughout the cruise. The New Year's Eve White Night party, where all the guests don their best white attire, will take place throughout the ships and on the pool deck with entertainment, music and light bites.

People stand on the front deck of a Viking Christmas cruise on the Rhine.

Courtesy of Viking

Viking's 12-day Christmas on the Main & Moselle cruise sails between Paris and Prague in 2024 and 2025. The adults-only sailing affords passengers 18 and older the opportunity to visit four European countries: France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. In addition to browsing the chic boutiques in Paris and a variety of Christmas markets in Germany, you'll want to explore iconic landmarks like Reims Cathedral in France and the Luxembourg American Cemetery. Don't miss the famed wines produced in the regions, including Champagne, Moselle, riesling, Müller-Thurgau and gewürztraminer. In Cochem, Germany, you'll want to sample white mulled wine and regional delicacies produced from the red vineyard peach.

The holiday spirit continues on board the ships with Christmas-themed cooking demonstrations in addition to festive decorations with garland, lights and gingerbread houses. Guests will also taste regional cuisine, enjoy cultural performances on board the ship and ashore and learn about the history of the Christmas markets and local holiday traditions.

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Disney Cruise Line

Goofy, Mickey and Minny characters on a Disney Cruise Line Very Merrytime cruise.

Kent Phillips | Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line offers dozens of Christmas-themed cruises from November through December in 2024. Cruisers looking to celebrate the holidays with Disney's cast of characters can book a Very Merrytime cruise as short as a three-night sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Bahamas . For a weeklong getaway, consider the line's seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage on board Disney Fantasy that sails round-trip from Port Canaveral. Ports of call on the itinerary include Tortola in the British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the cruise line's private island , Disney Castaway Cay.

On the first evening of every sailing, guests can gather around the 24-foot-tall Christmas tree for the tree lighting ceremony, a holiday singalong and the introduction of Santa Claus. Other festivities on Disney Cruise Line include the fun-filled Mickey and Minnie's Holiday Party, themed Very Merrytime activities for children of all ages, carol singers, and Christmas-inspired food and beverages. Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be sporting jolly new holiday attire during the special voyages.

Windstar Cruises

Christmas tree next to a winding staircase on a Windstar Cruises ship.

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Celebrate the holidays with a bucket list getaway to the sun-drenched islands of Tahiti . On this voyage, you'll set sail a few days before Christmas 2024 aboard the 312-passenger, all-suite yacht Star Breeze for Windstar's seven-day Dreams of Tahiti cruise. The round-trip sailing from Papeete, Tahiti, includes stops in the islands of Moorea, Raiatea, Motu Mahea (Tahaa), Bora Bora and Huahine. In Bora Bora, guests will be treated to a special evening Windstar Destination Discovery Event with dinner under the stars and traditional Polynesian fire dancing.

For an extended European holiday in 2025, the line's Star Collector: Winter in Spain and the Rivieras cruise sails from Malaga, Spain, to Rome on Dec. 13 aboard the intimate Star Legend. The 14-day itinerary includes ports of call in Spain, France, Italy and Gibraltar. During the cruise, you can visit must-see attractions like Michelangelo's sculpture of David in Florence and explore the historic Roman theater ruins in Cartagena, Spain. Cruisegoers will also have a chance to sample wines from the famed appellations of Tuscany in Italy and Andalusia in Spain, and taste culinary specialties like bouillabaisse in France.

On board the ships, guests can join in the holiday spirit with festive Christmas trees and decorations as well as holiday-inspired cocktails and treats. Special programming for the voyages includes a Christmas movie, a gala tea, an interdenominational Christmas service and a Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas morning brings more celebrations throughout the day, with holiday meals, a Yuletide afternoon tea and a Christmas dinner followed by a variety show in the evening.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Gem on open water.

Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Grab the swimsuit, flip-flops and sunglasses – and check the Panama Canal off your must-visit list – for a tropical holiday aboard Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Gem. The line's 11-day cruisetour begins Dec. 9, 2024, and includes three days to see the canal that some consider the "eighth wonder of the world" and visit vibrant Panama City. After embarking on Dec. 11, you'll transit the canal and then sail to ports in Costa Rica; Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, before disembarking in Miami on Dec. 20.

Plan ahead to Christmas 2025 by reserving accommodations on Norwegian's newest vessel – and the first in the Prima Plus class – Norwegian Aqua. The seven-day Caribbean round-trip voyage from Miami on the new ship (scheduled to launch in April 2025) will set sail on Dec. 21, 2025. The cruise includes tropical ports of call in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Great Stirrup Cay. For a special celebration, splurge on luxurious suite accommodations in The Haven. The ship-within-a-ship retreat features a private restaurant, a lounge, a sundeck, a concierge desk and 24-hour butler service.

Holiday-themed activities on Norwegian's vessels vary by itinerary and ship. Still, guests will find plenty of festive fun on board, including traditional holiday fare and holiday-inspired musical sets, trivia, and family and youth programming. Guests are invited to offer interdenominational services for fellow passengers during the sailing. You'll also find Hanukkah services listed in the Freestyle Daily Program.

Holland America Line

Christmas trees and other decor on a Holland America Line cruise ship.

Courtesy of Holland America Line

Celebrate the Christmas holidays in Hawaii during Holland America Line 's round-trip Circle Hawaii Holiday voyage from San Diego on the ship Zaandam, embarking on Dec. 18, 2024. Guests aboard this voyage will sail to Honolulu, Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii as well as Kahului, Maui . You'll also get to enjoy scenic cruising at the Kilauea Volcano; visit Ensenada, Mexico; and join in the holiday festivities on the ship during relaxing days at sea.

If you've been dreaming of visiting far-flung destinations in Asia, such as Halong Bay, Vietnam, or Bangkok, Thailand – or seeing Komodo dragons in the wild in Indonesia – the 28-day Far East & Indonesian Holiday Collector itinerary will be an adventure of a lifetime. The voyage on board Westerdam embarks in Hong Kong on Dec. 7, 2025, with exotic ports of call in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. On Christmas Day, guests will visit the picturesque port town of Probolinggo on the coast of East Java in Indonesia. On New Year's Eve, the ship docks in Semarang, Indonesia; here, you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Borobudur, home to an impressive Buddhist temple site dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries.

Back on board the ships, holiday celebrations include a Christmas tree lighting, Santa's arrival, a midnight mass, a Christmas concert, special menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and a New Year's Eve Party and countdown. There are Hanukkah festivities with candle lightings and latkes served in the Lido. Guests will also enjoy viewing the holiday villages around the ship created by Holland America's culinary team.

Silversea Cruises

Penguins on an iceberg seen from a small excursion boat from the Silversea Cruises Silver Cloud cruise ship.

Courtesy of Silversea Cruises

For a life-changing experience and the merriest Christmas of all, spend the holiday with several species of waddling penguins, giant seals and majestic whales while visiting the ice-covered shores of the White Continent. The 10-day round-trip expedition from Puerto Williams, Chile, on Silversea 's Silver Cloud sets sail a week before Christmas in 2024 for the Antarctica Peninsula. Five days of excursions allow travelers on this Antarctica cruise to explore this surreal and magical part of the world. Weather permitting, guests will even take a Zodiac cruise with the expedition team in the South Shetland Islands the day after Christmas.

If you're planning ahead to 2025, consider a longer adventure where you'd fly the infamous Drake Passage one way from Puerto Williams (saving two days at sea) and land on King George Island in Antarctica. This 15-day expedition aboard Silver Cloud begins on Dec. 21, 2025, and features four days of excursions in Antarctica and three days in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. You'll also spend three days in the Falkland Islands, where you'll have more chances for unforgettable wildlife encounters with black-browed albatrosses, fur seals, Commerson's dolphins, imperial cormorants, and adorable rockhopper and Magellanic penguins.

Festive touches on the ship include Christmas trees and lights, gingerbread houses, holiday arts and crafts, caroling, religious services, and musical performances by the crew and professional entertainers. Guests will also enjoy a traditional holiday dinner on Christmas Day.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed to destinations around the globe on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, luxury yachts, expedition vessels, and river ships in Europe and on the Mekong River. She used her extensive knowledge and experience with the cruise industry to write this article. Pratesi covers the travel and culinary industries for major publications, including U.S. News & World Report.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top River Cruise Lines
  • The Top Cruises on Small Ships
  • The Best Themed Cruises
  • The Best Christmas Lights Displays in the U.S.
  • The Best Christmas Vacations

Tags: Travel , Cruises , Winter Vacations , Christmas

World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

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